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NTL fires first volley in Net calls price war

Cable co removes distinction between local and national calls

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Cable operator NTL has cut the price of Net access in the UK to just 1p a minute. The new 24 hours a day flat-rate fee is part of a package of new measures announced today by the Hampshire-based company. Among them is a simplification of its tariff structure, a move it describes as a "breath of fresh air". From today, all calls will be charged at 3p per minute between 8am and 6pm, 2p per minute during the evening and 1p per minute at weekends. Internet access has been cut to just 1p per minute at all times. All calls will be subject to a 3.5p connection charge. For the first time ever this means no distinction between local and national calls, the company said. Those home and business premises not hooked up NTL's cable network can still take advantage of NTL's offer by subscribing to NTL's TV Internet service. Steve Wagner, group MD of NTL, said: "We know that the UK public wants the best range of services, at the best price, without having to spend hours deciphering an incredibly complex bill." Last week NTL said it planned to purchase Cable & Wireless' residential services, a move that would give NTL more than three million customers in the UK. ®

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