MPs blast UK gov over ecommerce plans

Time to get innovative, says committee

The government and its regulatory sidekick Oftel have been slammed by an influential group of MPs for failing to meets the needs of Britain's wired community. In a stinging report by the Trade and Industry Committee into ecommerce, MPs savaged Oftel for not doing more to cut the cost of dial-up Net access in the UK describing its efforts so far as "unduly cautious." It even called for Oftel to consider encouraging the introduction of "innovative tariff packages" including the adoption of unmetered local calls. The cross-party group of MPs also hammered government for delaying the appointment on an ecommerce envoy. It said that "the electronic government agenda is characterised by hyperbole, over-optimism and failure to learn from past mistakes." And it added that the government's ecommerce projects were "ill-thought out, lacking in detail and not co-ordinated with existing initiatives." ®

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