Re: why is line-rental mandatory?
"An even worse scam by BT is enforcing the full line-rental even when customers only need ADSL." - I'm with Orange France for internet [*] and this is how it works for me. The phone line just beeps and won't work, the phone (with a normal local code number) is plugged into the Livebox. I pay slightly more for my service than if I had a phone rental, but the total is less than rental+cheapersub. I could, if I wished [**], jack in the Livebox and go with somebody else like SFR or Free... but see [*].
* - I am paying more for the Orange service because I know personally somebody who had a faulty internet, they payed over six months subscriptions while neither the phone nor the internet box worked correctly; both companies blaming the other. Sadly I said right at the start it sounded like a faulty filter. I say sadly because I was correct, only the person wanted an official engineer to say that. Six months of denied service and subs (trust me, we're looking at upwards of three HUNDRED euros) all for the want of a five euro part. So I am with Orange because I live in the back of beyond so would rather if something happened then there's nobody for Orange to blame as they deal with both bits.
** - actually, I lie. I am stuck with Orange for the next 24 months as I've just signed a contract for internet plus mobile phone. Running to about €55 a month, it offers a better deal than my previous options of ADSL (€40/month) plus Origami Zen mobile contract (€35/month). You can pick yourself up off the floor, while there are better options with relative unknowns, there are about the going prices here in France. I did a comparison with SFR last weekend and they worked out to be slightly more expensive. I wanted a new phone, which rules out Sosh. If you can read French, it is Open Style - http://open.orange.fr/forfaits/forfaits-internet-plus-mobile.aspx?rdt=o but feel free to look around the site. Then some of you might stop complaining about the prices for packages in the UK. I can't think why telecoms in France is so damned expensive, it just seems to be...
*** - additional footnote just to annoy the anti-footnote crowd, and to cause a segmentation violation due to unreferenced article. ;-)