|Building competition and choice - a review of Oftel's work - 14 May 2003|
Reflections by the four Director Generals of Telecommunications on the transformation by Oftel of the UK telecoms market from a single monopoly supplier to competition are contained in a review of Oftel’s work published today.
In a series of interviews, Sir Bryan Carsberg, Bill Wigglesworth, Don Cruickshank and David Edmonds discuss the major challenges they faced during their time as the Director General of Telecommunications.
Issues discussed include the opening up the telecoms market to competition and protecting consumers against anti-competitive practices. They also consider the lessons of the past for future regulation.
Oftel has also published today its annual report for 2002. It details the work that Oftel undertook throughout the year to further promote competitive telecoms markets in order to secure the best deal for consumers.
Welcoming the publication of Oftel Review 1984-2003, Creating competition and choice, David Edmonds, the current Director General of Telecommunications, said today:
"This publication provides a unique overview of Oftel’s work over the past 20 years that has created today’s competitive telecoms market.
"The transformation of the telecoms market has brought many benefits to consumers – wider choice, lower prices and improved quality of service. And consumers’ behaviour and lifestyles have changed dramatically as a result.
"Strong regulation is needed to deliver effective competition. Oftel has had to adapt and develop its approach to regulation as markets have become increasingly competitive, and in the process, come up with successful regulatory solutions that have been copied in many other countries.
"The wide range of issues that Oftel has dealt with has built up a wealth of experience that will be vital for Ofcom, as it takes over as regulator for the communications sector at the end of 2003."
Oftel’s annual report sets out Oftel’s work to achieve its goal of securing the best deal for the consumer through a competitive telecoms market. Highlights include:
Looking forward to Ofcom David Edmonds Director General of Telecommunications said:
of a unified regulator is to bring the skills and knowledge of the existing
regulators into a single organisation, which can look at the communications
market as a whole, driving forward the market approach across all its
responsibilities. It is simplistic to suggest that Ofcom has to make
a choice between standards in broadcasting, and delivery of economic
benefits. Ofcom will be judged on its ability to create a 'win-win'
situation that maintains and improves standards in broadcasting, and
with the delivery of more competition procedures economic benefits for
Notes to Editors:
1. Oftel Review 1984-2003, Creating competition and choice, is available on Oftel’s website at www.oftel.gov.uk/publications/about_oftel/2003/celeb0503.htm.
2. Oftel’s 2002
annual report is published by The Stationery Office Limited, House of
Commons printing number HC659 and can be purchased for £23.40. Limited
copies are available for journalists and can be obtained by contacting
Oftel's Press Office on
3. The Director General of Telecommunications is required under Section 55 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 to provide a report to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for the period 1 January to 31 December each year.