Stephen Byers told the Commons on 2nd March that
telecommunications is to be dropped from the utilities bill
following complaints from twenty-five of the largest telecoms
groups. They argued that the common regulatory system would be a
step backwards for electronic commerce if they were regulated in
the same way as electricity and gas.
The criticisms have embarrassed the government
which had previously portrayed the UK as a leader of an online
revolution. Mr Byers announced that telecommunications will be
dealt with in a white paper reviewing ownership and regulation of
the media and telecoms industries.
(Financial Times, 2 March 2000)