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ISPs lash out at BT

New tariff gets a proper kicking from trade association

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Britain's ISPs have slammed BT for misleading the public about its plans to cut the cost of dial-up Net access. In a statement issued through their trade association, ISPA, ISPs said BT's new Internet tariffs are "not a good deal for consumers or for the Internet industry in the UK". ISP's also hit out at the monster telco for not consulting with them beforehand. ISPA represents more than 80 ISPs in the UK, including AOL Bertelsmann, LineOne, FreeServe and... er... BT. Tim Pearson, chairman of ISPA, said: "While ISPA welcomes new pricing models to encourage Internet growth in the UK, ISPA believes that BT's new tariff will not lead to cheaper Internet access, and appears to be an attempt by BT to win back market share in the termination of Internet calls." ISPA also said the move might be an attempt by BT to force ISPs off competing networks since any take-up of BT's offer would appear to rule out arrangements with other telcos. Laurence Blackall, ISPA council member, said: "Clearly BT is making significant savings by handing over to ISPs the responsibility for billing and collection of these accounts. "But despite the fact that ISPs spend significant amounts to generate the traffic for these lines, the service does not appear cheap, and ISP's are affronted by what appears to be an attempt to fix their prices for them." But a spokesman for BT dismissed the criticisms saying: "If they [ISPs] don't like it, they don't have to buy it. "This deal offers a price reduction of 75 per cent on daytime call rates -- how can that not be a price reduction?" On Tuesday, BT issued a statement which said the it was about to "slash the cost of dial-up Internet access". ® Related Stories BT's knockers reject flat-rate plans BT's Bonfield: No free local calls BT's U-turn could drive competitors off the road BT U-turns on unmetered Net access Oftel calls for cheaper Net access

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