BT freed of retail price controls for first time since privatisation

20 Jul 2006

UK fixed line incumbent BT Group is mulling a revamp of its consumer telephony tariffs after watchdog Ofcom removed the price controls regulating its retail phone services for the first time, 22 years after the company was privatised. Ofcom said increasing competition meant it would abolish controls limiting rises in the price of calls and line rental for BT customers from next month. The retail price controls apply to local, national and international calls, as well as those made to mobiles. Around eleven million UK users now take retail fixed line services from a company other than BT. The former monopoly remains ultimately responsible for the bulk of these connections via its wholesale division – whose prices remain regulated – though the number is falling as more alternative operators invest in local loop unbundling (LLU). BT said it was now reviewing its options following Ofcom’s decision.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach)