BBC News article: Net access comes as standard.
For the first time, UK internet access is being included in the telephone services that all customers should get as standard. The new guidelines also demand that BT and Kingston Communications give all customers this net access at a minimum speed. Users who are not able to access the net via a dial-up account at this speed will be able to demand that their telephone provider do something about it. The new minimum standards come into force on 25 July.
Only two of the UK's fixed line phones firms, BT and Hull's Kingston Communications, have an obligation to meet the universal minimum standards defined by Oftel. These standards require the firms to meet all reasonable requests for the installation of a phone line regardless of where in the UK a customer lives. Phone services offered via that line must also be offered at the same price as any other line. The two firms must also offer reduced rates to people on low incomes and provide a network of pay phones for people to use.