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UK broadband provider TalkTalk is poised to become the first UK telecommunications company to offer its customers free landline calls at any time, as it looks to attract new custom in the ever more competitive domestic broadband market.

Under the terms of the deal, all TalkTalk customers can benefit from free local calls from May 1st. From June 2nd they will also be able to benefit from free calls to all 0845 and 0870 numbers.

Wendy Becker, managing director at TalkTalk, commented: “At TalkTalk we’re always looking to give customers a better deal, especially in these uncertain times.

“Given that 70 per cent of all the UK calls that our customers make are to local numbers, making those calls free will give a significant boost to our customers who want to keep in touch with their neighbours, friends and local services.”

She added: “Combined with no charges for calls to 0845/0870 numbers, up to 90 per cent of our customers’ calls will be made for free.”

The reduction from TalkTalk coincides with its decision to hike its standard line rental charges to £11.25 per month. Meanwhile, call connection fees will rise from 6.85 to 8p. The company claims that the rise has been forced on it after Ofcom cleared the way for BT to charge broadband providers higher rates for renting its network.

However, despite the changes TalkTalk has managed to leave the charges for its Essentials cheap broadband and home telephony unchanged at £6.49 per month by tweaking the terms of the deal. The new terms see the length of call to non-local UK landlines in the evenings and weekends after which customers will be charged drop from 70 minutes to 60 minutes.

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