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biNumber portability a hang-up for true landline competition

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TRUE competition in landline phone use will not come into being until customers can take their number with them when they switch operators, says the head of phone business Y:tel, Gary Whipp.

It was announced last week by the Island's competition authority that it intends to force JT to provide a wholesale landline product to competitors.

The change will be brought into effect during the first half of next year and will also come into force in Guernsey where Sure Cable & Wireless is the dominant operator.

Mr Whipp said that his company had been working with the regulator to introduce what is known as 'number portability' as this aspect of providing a wholesale landline product was 'key' and was being 'overlooked'.

The chief executive of the Channel Islands Competition Regulatory Authority, Andrew Riseley said that the number transfer would not be in the first wave of wholesale products available. 'It is likely to come towards the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014,' he said.

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