BT is expected to bring in free calls for internet access this week as the telecoms titan bows under the pressure from rival ISPs.
The toll-free access for BT Internet is expected to go into operation from 5 June. At present, BT Internet charges £11.75 for a subscription.
Customers of the access service will be given free calls at weekends from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday, according to the BT Internet helpdesk. BT staff were reported as saying: 'It is supposed to start on 5 June and will run all weekend.'
However, a representative for BT added: 'It is just speculation at the moment and we are reviewing our position all the time.'
Adam Daum, analyst at Inteco, believed that any deal BT did with BT Internet would have to be extended to BT resellers and ISPs.
'It will lead to a polarisation in the market, with heavy users opting for the BT Internet-style flat rate access, free telephony, and casual users opting for Freeserve-style free access, metered telephony. This would also mean better audience definition for advertisers.'
However, Nick Gibson, analyst at Durlacher, was sceptical: 'There would be serious anti-competitive issues and it would require significant changes to the regulatory structure and the way BT works with other telcos.'
According to Fletcher Research, the number of UK citizens online has reached 10 million, with more than three million joining since Christmas.
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