Oftel pushes for cheaper leased lines

BT has been instructed to widen the variety of wholesale leased line products it sells - which could mean significant savings for end-users

Businesses may soon be able to save on the cost of a high-speed leased line, following a decision announced on Friday by Oftel.

The telecoms regulator has instructed BT to make a number of changes to its wholesale leased line products. BT sells these partial private circuits (PPCs) to telecoms companies who use them to build networks for businesses, and Oftel claims that its action will mean greater competition and lower prices.

"Leased lines are an important way of providing businesses with dedicated high speed communications services, including broadband Internet access," said David Edmonds, director general of telecommunications, in a statement.

"PPCs allow operators to compete with BT in the leased lines market, giving them the real potential to reduce their costs significantly -- and therefore to reduce prices to end users," Edmonds added.

BT has agreed to implement Oftel's ruling, which is likely to be followed by a more detailed decision later this year. "We've already made some of the changes that Oftel has asked for, and we accept the other changes," a BT spokesman told ZDNet UK.

The BT spokesman added that it was quite possible that the changes could mean cheaper leased lines. "It would depend what products a company is using, and what it's using it for, of course. These changes will mean greater variety, and that could well mean lower savings," he said.

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