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Who will cover the growing BT pension fund deficit?

It is believed that the BT pension deficit has now reached £9.4 billion and while there are plans afoot to fill the hole left in the pension scheme, it would seem that BT's competitors may well be asked to pay "their fair share". Ofcom is said to be considering a request to increase wholesale telephony charges, the fees which BT is allowed to charge competitors for using the BT network, by 4% a year to raise funds to cover the BT pension deficit. But is this really fair?

While Ofcom is said to be considering a move which will see the likes of Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB pay extra for their wholesale services from BT it will be customers in the UK who eventually foot the bill. This is a very difficult balancing act because while BT is obviously the major player in the UK telephone market, using a network which was created using taxpayers money, it also has other strings to its bow which have impacted upon the pension fund deficit. Is it fair to expect competitors to chip-in and help BT in these difficult times or should Ofcom leave BT to fend for itself?

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