BT should not be split up, says Oftel

Oftel, the regulatory body for the telecoms industry, has dismissed calls to break up British Telecom, despite the telco giant's...

Oftel, the regulatory body for the telecoms industry, has dismissed calls to break up British Telecom, despite the telco giant's dominant position in the UK.

In May the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMS) proposed that BT's network and retail businesses should be split to fuel competition in the broadband market. The CMS Committee reiterated its views earlier this month, recommending that Oftel, "take serious note of criticisms of its effectiveness in establishing a competitive market for broadband."

In a statement issued today the regulator said the option of breaking up BT was not on its current agenda. It said competition in the broadband market has continued to increase. Oftel claimed broadband prices were cheaper in the UK than in France or Germany.

Responding to the parliamentary call Oftel said: "Neither the Secretary of State nor Oftel has the right to break up BT." It suggested that Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, could refer the case to the Competition Commission.

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