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UK Govt backs telecoms regulator

In a football manager kind of way?

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The Government has denied weekend reports that it has lost confidence in the telecoms regulator over its failure to introduce competitive and widely available broadband services.

Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that former gas industry regulator Clare Spottiswoode has been called in to advise the Government on how to increase competition and improve the delivery of broadband Internet services.

The newspaper said the move appears to signal that the Government has lost confidence in telecoms regulator, David Edmonds, over the failure to roll-out broadband services.

Ms Spottiswoode is set to make a presentation to the Treasury on the matter in the next couple of weeks, according to the report.

It seems she believes the industry is in need of a "radical shake-up" that could end with the further break-up of BT. Of course, the incumbent telco has already considered - and rejected - this option, claiming that such a move would not deliver shareholder value.

Explaining why she felt the UK was slipping behind in the race for broadband Ms Spottiswoode told the newspaper: "To me that's to do with the regulator not getting to grips with what needs to be done to change the structure of the industry to make it work more effectively."

But a spokeswoman for the Treasury told The Register: "There is no question. The Government has not lost confidence in David Edmonds."

And a spokesman for Oftel dismissed the story, saying: "We are fully committed to supporting the Government in achieving Broadband Britain." ®

Related Link

Gas woman turns up heat on Oftel - Sunday Times

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