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Toucan cuts BT line rental bill

Your Comms warns WLR not ready yet

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Toucan - the consumer telco of comms and technology outfit IDT Corp - has started offering its phone service via a single bill following Ofcom's decision yesterday to give the thumbs up to Wholesale Line Rental (WLR).

The cost of renting a phone line from Toucan is £9.99 a month undercutting the £11 a month BT Retail will be charging from January. The service is to be plugged to new customers of Toucan and its existing 150,000 punters.

Said Toucan MD Joseph Blass: "Toucan customers can now receive the charges for their phone line rental, home calls, internet access and mobile phone, all conveniently listed on a single, easy-to-mange monthly bill."

But while Toucan has been swift to embrace WLR, United Utilities-owned Your Communications believes Ofcom has been too hasty in passing WLR as fit for purpose.

Your Communications was one of the first companies to trial WLR and insists it has "constructively participated in the process to deliver fit-for-purpose WLR, in the drive towards equivalence and its attendant benefits to our business customers".

But according to Your Communications MD Hugh Logan: "We have actively supported Ofcom's efforts, however, we don't believe that WLR is yet fully fit-for-purpose. And, nothing short of a fully fit-for-purpose WLR product will deliver greater competition and choice."

"Whilst Ofcom acknowledges there are still some issues to be resolved, these issues have been around for some time. Whilst BT may have given Ofcom commitments to address these issues, congratulations are premature - the proof of the equivalence pudding will be in the eating."

In particular, Your Communications wants assurances that consumers can take their existing WLR services with them when they move.

"In addition to making it easier to allow end users to switch communication providers, BT needs to deliver systems and processes allowing us to deliver a service that meets our customers expectations," said Logan. ®

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