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July 18, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

British Telecommunications Plc yesterday gave details of price increases in its main services that will come into effect in early September. The aggregate effect of the changes is a 5.3% rise – 4.5% below the retail price index as British Telecom’ operating licence requires – with business bearing 3.5% of the increase on average, residential customers paying 9% more. Managing director Michael Bett claimed that the price changes represented a continued reduction of prices in real terms. The brunt of the increases will be borne by residential and business connection and line rental charges, along with tariffs for international direct dialled calls – these will increase roughly in line with inflation. On the other hand, the time allowance per unit fee – held at 4.4 pence – on all standard and peak rate national calls will rise, effectively making calls cheaper. After tax, the cost of an exchange line connection for business users rose to UKP162.70 from UKP145.75 for new customers; UKP141.68 from UKP126.75 for removing customers; UKP22.60 from UKP20.25 for taking over the line. Quarterly line rentals for business go to UKP31.92 from UKP28.55. Sir Bryan Carsberg, Director General of Telecommunications immediately said UK telecommunications watchdog Oftel would investigate the price changes to see they were within the rules and didn’t constitute an abuse of monopoly position.

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