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UK telecoms market fair, Oftel claims

Time to cut the red tape as watchdog settles down for a nap

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Oftel has announced that it now considers the UK telecoms market to be open and competitive, and that the time has come for the watchdog to scale down its work. According to a statement that came out of Reuters today, Oftel wants to shift its focus to championing the needs of the consumer and promoting a spirit of self-regulation within the industry. The watchdog said: "At the heart of the strategy is a rolling back of formal regulation where competition is effective and already protects consumers. There will be more self-regulation by the industry and co-regulation where some control is still needed, with a stronger emphasis on preventing anti-competitive practices." To ensure the UK consumer is not being ripped off, Oftel will compare what's going on here with what's going on abroad. Oftel director general, David Edmonds, said: "The reviews will include benchmarking against other countries to see if UK consumers are getting a deal at least as good as those abroad." Edmonds called upon UK telcos to make it easier for users to compare prices and services, Reuters said. ® Related items: Oftel's statement Oftel wimps out, again Oftel helps you leave BT

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