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O2 has hit back at claims from BT that the recently imposed data caps that were imposed on its unlimited mobile internet deals could be classified as a form of rationing.

"We thought rationing ended in the '50s," said BT in a provocative press statement, made all the stranger as it works with O2 on various projects, including the Openzone Wi-Fi service.

BT's remarks came as it attempted to publicise the fact that it has recently provided all of its Total Broadband customers with the option to get online when they are out and about using any of its Wi-Fi hotspots without fear of any time limits.

An O2 spokesperson told Tech Radar: "Our pricing structure is not about 'rationing'. This is an open and honest way of pricing data.

"We have introduced a way of charging customers for data which reflects the way they use it – a model where people who use the largest amounts of data will pay for it."

BT's statement is seen as slightly hypocritical by some, as its own roaming Wi-Fi service is moderated with a fair use policy that will place a 3GB data cap on any account that it deems to be negatively affecting the online experience of other customers.

O2 and its rival Vodafone were originally pioneers of the unlimited 3G data plan, but both have since retracted the use of 'unlimited' in order to more closely manage data usage.

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