Regulatory action may be taken against British Telecommunications in an attempt to increase competition in the United Kingdom's broadband market, according to an influential group of lawmakers. The select committee has urged the Office of Telecommunications--the U.K. telecom regulator known as Oftel--and its forthcoming replacement, the Office of Communications (OFCOM), to consider separating BT's network business from the rest of the company. The network is BT's physical infrastructure--including local exchanges and cables--as opposed to its service-based operations, such as BTopenworld.
One of the benefits of this separation, the committee believes, is that it might bring down broadband prices. The committee's advice was delivered in a report published Wednesday; it echoes a widespread belief among BT's competitors, which say broadband prices would likely fall if a third party owned BT's fixed-line network. BT isn't permitted to sell any products at a loss--an attempt to prevent the company undercutting rivals to boost market share.
ZDNet U.K.'s Graeme Wearden reported from London.
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