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According to documents seen by The Register BT has really thought hard about justifying the increase in the overall cost of its domestic line rental.

It admits that it makes a loss on line rental - a fact that is not disputed. But it's done to keep the basic cost of having a phone as low as possible, so that it is, theoretically, available to all.

The plan - which appears to work extremely well - is that BT then recoups that loss when people make phone calls.

However, in the FAQ's seen by Reg BT makes no mention of it's socially "right-on" policy.

Instead, it bangs on about providing "24 hour access to some of the worlds' most competitive call prices and a world-wide telephone network", and of giving consumers "phonebook entry and access to the '999' emergency services".

Here's an extract from BT's FAQ's about the introduction of limited unmetered calls from December 1.

Q: Why is BT increasing line rental?
A: BT's residential line rental is currently provided at a loss. This loss is recovered when customers make calls with BT. By increasing the line rental, BT is aiming to make a better return on its line rental product.

Q: Isn't line rental too expensive anyway? How do you defend yet another increase?
A: We believe that the line rental still represents good value for money. Residential customers receive 24 hour access to some of the worlds' most competitive call prices and a world-wide telephone network from one of the world's leading telecommunications companies. The line is fully maintained, with no additional charge being made for repair or call-out should things go wrong during normal working hours. When you report a fault on your telephone line we will try to ensure it is working by the end of the next working day. If we do not meet our promise, Residential customers can claim the monthly line rental for each day the line is faulty. On top of this, the quarterly rental covers services such as 1471, Phonebook entry and access to the '999' emergency services. Whilst BT is mindful of customers' concerns over rental charges, we are determined to provide our customers with a first class service 24 hours a day.

Gawd bless 'em. ®

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