Cable & Wireless drops BT charge dispute

Operator has dropped its Ofcom complaint over alleged overcharging by BT, but its reasons for the withdrawal are unclear

Cable & Wireless has dropped the complaint it had lodged with Ofcom regarding BT's unbundling charges.

The complaint covered the time between 16 December, 2004 and 30 June, 2006, during which BT was alleged to have overcharged for various services relating to unbundling — the process by which BT lets other network operators have direct access to its exchanges rather than forcing them to buy wholesale connectivity.

At the time, a spokesperson for Cable & Wireless said that extensive negotiations had failed, so Cable & Wireless was "using the regulatory processes available to us to get back what we regard as our money".

On Monday, Ofcom announced that Cable & Wireless had withdrawn its complaint "in order to explore further commercial negotiations with BT". Contacted by ZDNet UK, a Cable & Wireless spokesperson said: "After careful consideration, we have decided that there may be benefit in going back to the table for further discussions with BT. We have therefore withdrawn our dispute."

It is not clear whether Cable & Wireless's withdrawal of the complaint had anything to do with a draft determination that Ofcom released to BT and Cable & Wireless on 4 April. A spokesperson for BT told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that the company was "not sure exactly what [Cable & Wireless's] reasoning is but obviously we're pleased".

"Naturally we are always pleased to talk to Cable & Wireless," the spokesperson continued. "They are a very valued customer of ours."