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Two million people have deserted BT and opted for an alternative telco to provide their phone services.

That's according to official figures released today by regulator Oftel, which claims that signing up to the likes of Carphone Warehouse, One.Tel or Tiscali could enable punters to "get a better deal on their phone bill".

The exodus from BT is the result of the introduction of 'carrier pre-selection' (CPS), which enables punters to use an alternative phone company without changing their phone line or having to dial extra digits.

According to Oftel, CPS is becoming more and more popular, with the number of people switching to an alternative telco doubling in the last six months.

BT played down the figures claiming that it would be a "big mistake for anyone to think that all these people have moved from BT to other operators".

"As we showed at our first quarter results, there have been gains and losses across the market, with CPS call shares growing, and BT also winning customers back from the competition," a BT spokesman told us. ®

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