Deregulated BT to cut fixed-line costs

BT is set to offer customers more competitive fixed-line telephone deals after Ofcom relaxed its pricing rules citing the rise in competition.

The communications regulator yesterday announced plans to deregulate the retail telecoms market, in effect loosening ties on BT.

The FTSE 100 group can now offer discounts on its bundle of services (such as broadband and digital television) including, for the first time, fixed-line calls.

Ofcom said it had removed one of the last pieces of regulation in the retail fixed-line telephone market 25 years after BT's privatisation as it no longer held "significant market power" in most UK markets. Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards, said it was "an important step in deregulating telecoms where competition can be relied upon to serve the consumer".

More than 12 million UK households and small businesses use a telecoms provider other than BT. Rivals including Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk "provide effective competition to BT," the regulator added. BT has 14 million fixed-line customers.

Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT's retail division, welcomed the move saying: "It means BT will be competing on a more level playing field than previously." He added that BT would be announcing "exciting new offers in the near future".

Britons are increasingly taking bundled packages. In 2008, 46 per cent of UK consumers bought two or more communications services from one provider, up from 29 per cent in 2005, according to Ofcom's latest figures.

Ofcom said the rise in competition was spurred by the creation of Openreach by BT in 2005, a division that installs and maintains the "first mile" network of fibres and cables from homes and businesses to local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides services to BT's rivals on equal terms.

The Independent revealed yesterday that BT is in dispute with its workers over flexible working hours, and has turned to contractors to cover some short-term work.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before