Oftel is to step in to regulate British Telecom’s leased line prices.

The telecommunications regulator claims that BT is not offering suitable competitive pricing for its wholesale leased lines, Oftel said yesterday.

Though Oftel found the wholesale price for leased lines to be in line with average European prices, they remain "much higher than those in the cheapest countries and the US", said David Edmonds, director general of Telecommunications at Oftel.

Oftel's proposals arise from its review of competition in the market for national leased lines. Consultation on the plans continues until mid-November, when firm conclusions will be published.

Last January, Oftel also announced it was launching a three-year "major reviews of the telecom market". Tuesday's recommendations on wholesale leased lines are part of that larger report.