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Telecommunications

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to authorise OFTEL to require providers to establish packages tailored for low-use businesses; and if she will make a statement. [17741]

Low-use businesses are increasingly offered a variety of packages by telecommunications providers in today's competitive multi-operator market. Low-use businesses are also protected from price increases by the regulator Oftel. Oftel has required BT to provide a safeguard tariff package for small businesses for which the call charges are the same as those paid by residential customers whose prices are covered by the RPI-4.5 per cent. price cap. The package also ensures that line rental does not increase by more than RPI each year. My Department therefore has no plans at present to authorise Oftel to require telecommunications providers to establish packages tailored for low-use businesses.