Select Committee on European Union Forty-Ninth Report


TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATORY PACKAGE (14838/01)

Letter from the Chairman to Douglas Alexander MP Minister for e-Commerce and Competitiveness, Department of Trade and Industry

  Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated April 2002 which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 13 May.

  You will recall that the Sub-Committee has already looked at this in their meeting on 28 January and I wrote to you on 29 January to express our concern.

  I should be grateful to learn the Government's position on the slowness with which local loop unbundling (LLU) has been implemented in the United Kingdom, and perhaps more importantly, the widespread impression that the Regulator had acted slowly and brought insufficient pressure to bear on the dominant operator.

  The Scrutiny reserve on this document is maintained.

Letter from Stephen Timms MP, Minister for e-Commerce and Competitiveness to the Chairman

  You wrote to my predecessor, Douglas Alexander, on 15 May 2002 commenting on a specific aspect of the European Commission's Seventh Implementation Report. You ask for the Government's position on the implementation of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in the UK.

  You refer to a perception that regulatory action on LLU has been insufficient, but Oftel has worked hard to make LLU a reality. Since March 2000 a new licence condition has been introduced and 15 consultative documents, 15 directions and 10 statements have been published. Operators are now taking advantage of LLU. There are 136 local exchanges from which LLU operators can provide services, work is underway at a further 27 sites and over 1,100 lines have been unbundled. In addition, Oftel is playing an active role in setting the regulatory framework for a competitive broadband market which is conducive to further investment and roll-out to more remote areas of the country. Oftel recently directed BT to allow telecoms operators to interconnect with their network so as to provide their own DSL services, either on a wholesale basis or directly to end users.

  The Government is therefore satisfied that Oftel has taken appropriate actions to enable local access to BR's network by independent operators and that it continues to keep the matter under review.

21 October 2002

Letter from the Chairman to Mr Stephen Timms MP, Minister for E-Commerce and Competitiveness, Department of Trade and Industry on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package

  Thank you for your letter dated 21 October which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 28 October.

  We note that the Government believes that Oftel has taken appropriate action to enable local access to BT's network by independent operators. We note, too, the information conveyed in your letter that LLU is now beginning to be applied more widely. Under the circumstances, we lift the Scrutiny reserve on this document.

30 October 2002


 
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