Openreach, the part of BT Group which manages the connection from the local exchange to end user premises (homes & businesses) has announced today that as of tomorrow it will be dropping the cease charges to zero. We ought to stress this does not affect end users at this time and that this charge suspension at this point appears to be temporary.
The charge is applied to the wholesale operator (BT Wholesale or another LLU operator) which in turn passes it to the broadband service providers, and finally to end users in most cases. BT Wholesale was not able to confirm its plans at present as to whether the savings were going to be passed on to its customers.
This fee has been criticised by ISP industry insiders for some time due to concerns over its impact on their businesses, in particular when customers can cause the disconnection charge to be applied simply by cancelling the phone line without the ISP's knowledge. There is currently no information on why this change has taken place, or whether it is likely to be extended beyond the one month period in the Ofcom notice from Openreach.