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ISPA Welcomes Ofcom/BT Deal
By: MarkJ - 24 June, 2005 (12:42 PM)

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) has given a cautious welcome to the statement announcing a new regulatory approach to achieve equality of access on BT’s networks, without their break-up:

However, ISPA eagerly awaits the full detail of the new arrangements as concerns remain about the practical arrangements to accompany the behavioural changes required of BT.

The regulator’s announcement echoes ISPA’s calls for a regulatory approach to ensure complete equivalence of access to BT’s networks, to promote competition and innovation, and to focus or withdraw regulation where appropriate. ISPA will have to wait until the formal rules are published on the 30th June to discover how effectively Ofcom has responded to the Internet industry’s concerns.

ISPA believes that BT’s internal and external ISP customers must be serviced in exactly the same way, calling for equality of access to information, service features, provisioning and pricing. In the announcement, BT will establish an Access Services division with “equivalence of input” for all of BT’s wholesale customers.

ISPA is pleased that the need for BT to demonstrate a serious commitment to equivalence and transparency will be monitored by a new Equality of Access Board.

Mrs Hendrie-Liaño said, “We hope we won’t be disappointed with the new rules. Even if the rules meet our expectations, Ofcom must maintain a keen eye on levels of competition in the Internet industry for a long time to come.

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