Britain safe in Oftel's hands

Trust me, I'm a watchdog

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Britain will have solved its telecoms problems by this time next year according to David Edmonds, top dog at British telecoms regulator, Oftel.

This optimistic and bullish view of Britain's telecoms industry concludes a terse letter to the FT in which Edmonds defends himself against mounting criticism of his handling of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU).

He wrote: "Within the next 12 months, the UK will have gained and hold a real competitive advantage in both unmetered internet access and new broadband services."

And since he also takes full credit for the "decision to force unbundling of BT's local loop" Edmonds has effectively given himself 12 months to sort out Britain's lopsided telecoms industry - or face the consequences. Of course, that depends on whether Edmonds lasts that long.

Edmonds also denies Oftel is BT's lapdog taking its lead from the monopoly telco.

"Driving competition in to the UK telecoms market is at the heart of my role as regulator. To suggest that British Telecommunications is dictating any of my actions is a travesty of the facts," wrote Edmonds. ®

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