A lot of people in the U.K. have no choice either, unless they want to abandon landline service and just use cellular.
Outside of the major urban areas there are vast areas rural and smaller-town Britain in which BT is the only landline option. You can get alternate long-distance service, but you're still tied to BT for the rental on your POTS line.
#144766 - 01/12/0612:29 PMRe: OT: Must be something in the water
Eircom in Ireland have a similar approach. Keep jacking up the line rental, regardless of which operator you choose, you still pay eircom line rental if it's supplied over an eircom line. Even if the line rental's charged via that new operator.
We're starting to see some serious competition though as new wireless options are emerging, many of which also carry voice and totally bypass the eircom last mile network.
Meanwhile, unbundling has been held-up for years by eircom pricing structures making the whole process very uneconomic and various "technical problems" which have been used as excuses to make it difficult to implement quickly. (i.e. foot dragging)
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 01-12-2006).]
#144767 - 01/13/0601:23 PMRe: OT: Must be something in the water