Oftel said today it is embarking on new action to drive up the quality of BT's Calls and Access product.
After a detailed investigation, Oftel's director general said because of the "exceptionally serious" nature of the problems suffered by consumers who have moved their telephone service to a Calls and Access provider, he proposes to use his powers to set a quality of service standards for BT.
This is to ensure that it provides end users with a consistent and satisfactory level of service and will be the first time that these powers have been used in the UK.
BT's Calls and Access product allows third party service providers to market their own telephone services to consumers over BT's network.
Details of the standards proposals will be issued in the New Year following a public consultation. Oftel said they will cover matters such as processes for transferring customers, billing and disconnection.
Also today, Oftel made modifications to Concert Communications company licence to cover the operations of the BT and AT&T joint venture.
The modifications mean that customers and interconnecting operators currently buying international services from BT transferring to Concert, can expect their existing obligations to be fulfilled.
Oftel's third announcement today said that it will, for the first time, remove a restriction on BT. As BT no longer has a significant share of the telephone equipment business, it will again be allowed to compete equally in this market, Oftel said. The restriction was imposed in 1995 after BT was found to be unfairly cross-subsidising the sales of telephones.
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