UK telecomms watchdog Oftel has given the green light to a proposed BT initiative that could knock an extra five per cent off bills in businesses spending #1 million on calls per quarter.
Called BT Dual Discount, the scheme will probably be in place by the end of the year and will be aimed at telemarketing firms with inbound and outbound calls.
Despite Oftel's blessing for Dual Discount, it remains undecided on Corporate Advance, a similiar programme aimed at businesses that spend more than #5 million a year with BT.
BT was to have launched the scheme in July but has been delayed pending an Oftel investigation into the potential for anti-competitive behaviour. Oftel and BT have been in discussions since April over the fact that Corporate Advance would be open only to a restricted group of companies.
However, BT protests that its competitors, including Energis and Cable and Wireless Communications, already offer similiar deals. Neither BT nor Oftel would comment on when the investigations would be complete.
BT Dual Discount will offer a sliding scale of discounts with a maximum of five per cent, or "several thousands of pounds", explained a company representative. This would be on top of other discounts applicable to the customer.
David Edmonds, Oftel director general, said: "Basically, the service which BT Dual Discount bundles can be offered by other operators in a similar package. There can, therefore, be fair competition on a level playing field."
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