BT told to cut wholesale access charges

22 Jul 2003

The UK’s telecoms regulator Oftel yesterday ordered the BT Group [BT.L] to cut its charges for unmetered internet access by 17%. Director general of Oftel Dave Edmunds said that due to improvements BT has made to its network in recent years, the former monopoly should no longer be charging its rivals for call management and routing facilities. In a further blow to the operator, Mr Edmunds ordered BT to backdate the reduced tariffs to June 2002, the date at which it completed its network upgrade. The move was first proposed by Oftel in April 2003 after rival operator Cable & Wireless filed a complaint with the regulator. It is estimated that BT will suffer between GBP15 million and GBP20 million a year in lost revenues from the decision, which comes only two months after it was ordered by Oftel to reduce its wholesale broadband tariffs. Next month the UK market for directory enquiries services will be opened to competition, marking a further blow to the incumbent’s balance sheet.

United Kingdom