Labour demands cable fast track for BT

The Labour Party is urging the Government to agree a timetable for allowing BT to compete with cable companies.

BT is the only company with the capacity to develop a national, high-capacity network for delivering interactive multimedia services, says Labour shadow Heritage Secretary Chris Smith.

Labour published a document on the future of telecommunications, Communicating Britain’s Future, on Monday. It proposes that BT be allowed to compete in a cable franchise area seven years after the franchise licence has been granted. Labour’s call echoes recommendations made by a Commons trade and industry select committee late last year.

At present, BT is banned from offering broadcast services in competition with cable. The Government has pledged to “review” these restrictions by 2001 at the latest.

Communicating Britain’s Future has been tentatively welcomed by BT.

“It gives us certainty as to when we could compete,” a BT spokesman says. “Labour also shares our views about the social benefits of developing a proper telecoms framework.”

A Cable Communications Association spokesman criticises the report as “not properly thought-out. It favours BT too much”.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here