BT rebuffs Le Freeswerve's no confidence vote

Sticks and stones...

BT has hit back at claims that Britain's biggest French ISP has been forced to increase the cost of its ADSL service because the wholesale price is simply too expensive.

Rebecca Webster, of BT's wholesale broadband division, dismissed Le Freeswerve's claims saying: "We think [our wholesale price] represents good value for money - that's what our customers have told us as well.

"Depending on how you use it, it can cost less than ISDN," she said.

Asked whether she thought BT was charging too much for wholesale ADSL she said: "We think we are broadly in line with a proportion of the market. We are certainly not the most expensive."

Concerning allegations that BT's restrictive allocation process for ADSL installations had made it "virtually impossible to plan an effective marketing strategy to create consumer demand" she said the telecom giant had made "dramatic improvements" over the last months.

She also pointed to the fact that BT is lifting its restrictions on installation from June 4.

A senior spokesman for Oftel said it was still early days concerning the development of the broadband market and that he hoped to see prices falling in the future.

He pointed to local loop unbundling as a means to increase competition and drive down price. ®

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