News Burst: European parliament votes for faster unbundling

Parliament puts foot down on accelerator on the highway to pan-European unbundling

European Parliament votes in favour Thursday of the EC's proposals to open up telecoms across Europe, promising lower access prices and a faster rollout of broadband service.

The vote was hailed as an "historic decision" by the European Commission, which has been waging war on European incumbents since March when it first presented its proposals for local loop unbundling. The ratification from the European Parliament means the regulation will now become law across member states, including the UK.

Any incumbent, including BT, which fails to comply to the European parliament's timetable -- which requires local loops to be unbundled and services from alternative operators rolled out by January 1 2001 -- could face legal action.

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