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Oftel cuts LLU charges

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Oftel has ordered BT to cut some its charges linked with local loop unbundling, claiming they are too high.

The telecoms regulator ruled that BT must cut the amount it charges for providing line test information from £5.30 to £2.60 per line.

It must also halve the amount it charges for unplanned escorted access to exchanges.

However, critics have been quick to play down today's announcements, claiming that they amount to little more than tinkering around the edges.

In a statement David Edmonds, head of Oftel, said that today's ruling would reduce costs for operators and give them greater confidence in planning the roll-out of unbundled services.

Said Mr Edmonds: "Today's announcement is another example of Oftel taking action to support the rollout and take-up of broadband services through competitive broadband markets."

However, a spokesman for BT told The Register that Oftel had found in the telco's favour on many accounts and that today's announcement was little more than a couple of "minor changes".

A spokesman for Bulldog Communications - one of the few companies still involved in LLU - said that while today's announcement was not necessarily earth-shattering, it was yet another ruling in favour of rival operators.

"This shows Oftel is getting involved and cutting through the detail. Oftel is nibbling away at the cost base which is now moving in the right direction," he said.

So far around 150 lines have been unbundled in the UK. ®

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