Tories favour single comms watchdog

A Conservative government is likely to create a single regulator for the digital, broadcasting and telecoms industry.

A Conservative government is likely to create a single regulator for the digital, broadcasting and telecoms industry.

Parliamentary reporter

Opposition IT spokesman Alan Duncan signalled the move at his party conference in Bournemouth last week.

He said, "We favour the minimum of intervention and the maximum possible freedom. On taking office, we will review the state of local Internet connections and the charges that go with them.

"We will speed up the DTI's procedures for granting licences to new telecoms operators. We will consider establishing a single regulator for digital broadcast and telecoms.''

Duncan told Computer Weekly it was likely a future Tory government would opt for a single regulator but that the policy area was currently under detailed review. He gave no hint of whether it would be based on a beefed-up Oftel and refused to comment on whether it would be based in the Department of Trade & Industry or the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Duncan claimed the two departments in the current government are engaged in a turf war on the issue of control of policy on the broadcasting, telecoms and Internet field.

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