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TalkTalk customers will benefit from free local calls from today, as the internet service provider (ISP) bids to boost take up for its cheap broadband deals.

According to TalkTalk, the move could save the average subscriber to its TalkTalk Essentials telephony and home broadband package around £38 per year compared with someone who took their home phone from BT, which charges for local calls. This is based on the assumption that BT customers have similar telephone usage patterns to TalkTalk’s client base.

The decision to waive charges is intended to attract new custom from consumers who are looking to limit their outgoings in the face of the economic downturn and is part of a program of changes planned by TalkTalk to expand its customer base. This will see the company introduce free calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers from June 2nd.

Wendy Becker, managing director of TalkTalk, said: “We are committed to providing our customers with the best value package on the market - whether that be for their home phone or their broadband.

“Our new free local calls anytime offer means that 70 per cent of our customers’ UK calls will now be free. We think that’s an unbeatable deal, especially at a time when people are looking to cut their costs wherever they can.”

Recently, it was revealed that that the Carphone Warehouse group, of which TalkTalk is a part along with AOL, had added 74,000 new subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2008. The strong performance saw Carphone’s total number of customers rise to 2.8 million.

Helping TalkTalk buck the slump in consumer spending was the low cost of its broadband deals, especially the Essentials Package. This is priced at £6.49 per month, with an additional £11.25 for line rental, for which customers can expect a broadband connection speed of up to 8Mb and a 40GB monthly download limit.

However, until 4pm today (May 1st) consumers who sign up for the broadband deal get three-months free broadband when they order online.

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