Feeds

BT dodges flak with unmetered move

Misses out on a savaging from MPs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

BT admitted yesterday that its announcement concerning the introduction of unmetered dial-up access to the Net was planned to coincide with a meeting of backbench MPs.

The Trade and Industry Select Committee was due to grill Oftel over BT's monopoly but a spokeswoman for BT told the Telegraph that the timing of the announcement was "not unconnected with the trade and industry meeting".

So it's all just a happy coincidence that Oftel also used yesterday to announce new pricing arrangements that could result in cheaper Internet access in Britain. The new arrangements will mean that from January 2000, Internet service providers can choose what the pence per minute call rate for their customers should be, rather than simply charging the current standard local call rate, read an Oftel statement.

Under the proposals, Oftel plans to set a new rate for Internet calls separate from normal voice telephony, however the watchdog was not prepared to say what that new rate might be. The regulator wants to split the cost of a telephone call into two separate parts -- an initial charge for setting up the call, and a separate charge for maintaining the connection for the duration of the call.

Under current arrangements, these two charges are set at a uniform level. The effect is that short duration calls are under-priced, and long duration calls, such as dial-up Net access, are over-priced. It also said it plans to introduce a new 0844 code for net access and a new 0808 code for free and unmetered Internet services.

The result is that ISPs should be able to approach telcos and negotiate lower access costs for their customers, said an Oftel spokeswoman today. She also confirmed that BT's announcement yesterday was separate to Oftel's plans and that the timing was just a coincidence. ®

Related Stories

BT intros unmetered Net access
AOL salutes BT flat rate - sort of

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.