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Ofcom Plays Down BT Split Speculation

Posted: 27th Apr, 2004 By: MarkJ
Reports in the Financial Times (FT) newspaper have suggested that Ofcom is examining the idea of splitting BT's wholesale and retail divisions, something the regulator has been keen to play down:

"We are exploring a large number of 'what if?' scenarios to inform our overall thinking about the future direction of the telecommunications sector," said a spokesman for the regulator.

"All such discussions are entirely hypothetical and discursive in nature. They are simply intended to provide an initial understanding of the implications of possible changes in the sector over time and do not in any way indicate a decision on a course of action."

The regulator is expected to publish the first phase of its consultation into the UK telecoms sector later this week when the matter, no doubt, is likely to be brought into focus. However, only two months ago an influential group of MPs rejected calls to split the UK's dominant fixed line telco claiming such as move did "not justify the upheaval involved". Although MPs accepted that such a move might be popular with some of BT's rivals, they also concluded that such a move wouldn't remove the need for regulation, merely shift it instead.


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