Utilities regulation bill to exclude telecoms

United Kingdom

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)