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Cheaper BT net access story looks like a dud

Two plus Two equals... er... Nine

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BT is set to introduce reduced charges for dial-up Internet access, The Guardian reports today, although there appears to be some doubt whether this will happen or not. "Industry insiders" were the quoted as saying BT would make its move within the next couple of weeks, after coming under sustained pressure from industry and government to make changes to its pricing policy. Asked whether this was true, a spokesman for BT refused to comment on the story, hiding instead behind the stock phrase: "We don't comment on rumour or speculation." However, one BT insider said privately that he thought that such a move was unlikely. BT is always in discussion about its pricing plans, he said. It may well be that The Grauniad caught a whiff of one of these discussions, put two and two together, and got nine. Telco watchdog Oftel cast even more doubt on the validity of the story by confirming that BT had not been in contact concerning any tariff changes. According to its licensing agreement, BT has to give Oftel 28 days' notice on any pricing changes. A spokeswoman for Oftel confirmed today that no such notification had been received although she did say that the watchdog would welcome any price reduction. If BT is to introduce reduced tariffs for Net users, it seems unlikely to happen in the next fortnight. ® Related Story BT Lame Brain spills 0800 beans

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