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Oftel slaps BT over wholesale business broadband charges

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Oftel has confirmed that it is forcing BT to slash pricing for its wholesale business broadband services.

The monster telco has always maintained that its pricing for leased lines was fair. Other operators - and crucially now Oftel - disagreed.

Oftel is forcing BT to cut the cost of connection for its partial private circuits (PPCs) by 50 per cent. Rental is also to be cut by 20 per cent.

In a statement Oftel said it believed these charges "better reflect the costs BT incur in providing these services".

PPCs are the key wholesale components of leased lines which telecoms operators buy from BT so they can offer their own services directly to end users.

Leased lines are permanently connected communications links between two or more sites and are used predominantly by businesses.

The amended charges will be backdated to 1 August 2001 when PPCs were first introduced by BT, said Oftel. Today's ruling follows a preliminary report published in September.

BT was unmoved by today's announcement claiming that the price reduction had already been factored in.

By late morning shares in BT were down 0.5p at 197.25p. ®

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