Please click below to go to the wholesale
line rental consumer guide:
'Line and Calls' services - a consumer guide
Oftel’s 2001-2 review of the fixed
telephony market concluded that BT has market power in the provision
of both calls and access, and that one reason for this is BT’s ability
to provide a bundled calls and access service, which provides BT
with a significant competitive advantage over alternative providers.
In August 2002 Oftel modified BT’s
licence to require it to provide a new ‘Wholesale Line Rental’ (WLR)
product to other network operators and service providers on cost-based
and non-discriminatory terms. This will allow alternative suppliers
to rent access lines on wholesale terms from BT, and resell the
access lines to the end-user, enabling the alternative supplier
to provide a single bill that covers both line rental and telephone
calls and should stimulate competition in the fixed telephony market.
BT introduced a basic WLR product (WLR1)
at the beginning of September 2002. The functionality of the basic
product is similar to that of the Calls and Access product, and
WLR1 will need to be developed further if it is to be a ‘fit-for-purpose’
product in the mass market and operate efficiently at large volumes
and seamlessly with other products such as carrier pre-selection.
Oftel published a consultation document
on 14 November 2002, Wholesale
Line Rental, a consultation document issued by the Director General
of Telecommunications, in which it set out detailed proposals
for WLR2. In the light of comments received to this consultation
document, Oftel published a statement on 11 March 2003, Wholesale
Line Rental: Oftel’s conclusions.
Following Oftel’s conclusions, and
the transition to the implementation phase of the project, Oftel
has restructured the WLR industry groups. There are now two WLR
industry groups chaired by Oftel – the WLR Service Providers Forum
and the WLR Implementation Working Group. Additionally, there is
a combined WLR/CPS Consumer Issues Task Group.
The WLR Service Providers Forum
is the primary means for industry stakeholders to be involved in
the implementation programme, and is open to all service providers/operators.
It meets approximately every six weeks, and the main function of
this group is to provide provide visibility to industry of progress
on the implementation programme. Contact Gavin
Daykin for further information.
The WLR Implementation Working Group
will be responsible for the further detailed work on product specification,
process design and associated assessment criteria that is required
as part of the implementation programme. This group will also be
responsible for identifying and managing any inter-dependencies
between the implementation programmes of BT and alternative providers.
Daykin for further information.
The CPS/WLR Consumer Issues Task Group
comprises representatives from consumer groups and industry to consider
the implications for consumers arising from CPS and WLR, and develop
measures aimed at the prevention of deceptive and/or misleading
sales and marketing practices. Contact Gavin
Daykin or Alex
for further information.
Developing WLR will require commitment and participation from all
stakeholders. Oftel will play its full part in leading the groups
and seeking to resolve issues that develop.
Wholesale Line Rental Groups:
Information and Minutes of Meetings
Line Rental Documents: