The UK telecoms watchdog, Ofcom yesterday lifted restrictions on British Telecom (BT) triple play services bundling its fixed-line phone services with broadband and digital TV services at discounted rates, paving the way for more competition and price wars among telecom companies in the country.
Ofcom said it had lifted one of the last major section of regulation imposed after 25 years of BT's privatisation, since the telecom major was no longer a "significant market power" in most UK markets.
Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards, said it was "an important step in deregulating telecoms where competition can be relied upon to serve the consumer."
The regulator's move will give the London-based telecom group 56-per cent market share of the UK landline market or 14 million landline customers, to offer bundled services of fixed-line phone, broadband and digital TV services at discounted rates and compete against it rivals like Virgin Media, BSkyB, TalkTalk and Carphone.
Earlier, BT customers had to pay separately for each service amid fears that the company would stifle competition since it was a dominant player in the industry.
Even though BT's rivals were allowed to bundle services at discounted rates to customers, with nearly 46 per cent of their customers opting for bundled packages last year, they protested, saying that the regulator's decision was premature since BT still controlled 56 per cent of the landline market.