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Problem:
Oftel appears to be an inept quango which wastes tax payers money and certainly does not appear to act as a regulator given that we have not seen the price reducations to levels comparable with the United States and Europe that consumers demand.
 
Solution:
Fire all current Oftel management. They have underperformed consistenty. This is obvious to most people in the United Kingdom as there is a complete lack of regulation in UK telecoms.
Oftel should be setting an agenda for the future of Brittish telecomunications. This should include the rapid transition to fibre within the next two years with high speed broadband access guaranteed to all homes WITHIN this 2 year period. If this is not done, Britain is going to be left in a technological dark age. All telecom operators which do not subscribe to this agenda should loose their licence to operate in the UK and will subsequently become irrelevant. Fibre links to exchanges (or backbone capacity) should be dedicated. These should not be shared with other users on the circuit as failed technologies like ADSL have done. As ADSL use grows in the UK the issue of pathetic contention ratios will become apparent and the technology will become unusable hence wasting the considerable investment in installation. It is laughable to think that next generation broadband services could be delivered with this third rate technology.
 
Problem:
Domestic telephone charges in the UK are still amongst the highest in the world. Oftel has consistently failed to preempt real competition in the UK telecoms market.
 
Suggested Remedy:
Break BT in to smaller regional operators as was done in the US with Bell telecom if they fail to cut prices in line with the average call prices in the US. Allow 1 year for this normalisation of prices after which BT should become history.
 
Problem:
Lack of flat rate wholesale unmetered telecoms (from BT).
 
Suggested Remedy:
Set a more realistic timetable (ie. introduction within 2 days). Billing computers can easily be reprogrammed to deal with this type of service. BT's arguments against this service are obviously attempts to extract as much profit as is possible from ordinary consumers. It shows severe ineptitude on behalf of Oftel that BT has not been forced to implement these services.
 
Problem:
Incessant advertising blitz for third rate overpriced telcoms services.
 
Suggested Remedy:
Mandatory advertising code for telcos forbidding advertising of services which are not deemed competative with similar services in the US. System of fines for advertising services which are not competative.
 
Problem:
BT cross subsidising divisions of their company
 
Suggested Remedy:
Large fines. Force BT to subsidise introduction of competitors services.
 
Problem:
Lack of broadband access.
 
Suggested Remedy:
Force BT to offer this within the next week. There is no reason why the pathetic BT attempt at ADSL services has not been deployed nationwide yet, other than to maximise profit. Their is a severe lack of competition in this sector. Force reduction of ADSL prices down to the same level as in the United States to prevent blatent profiteering and introduce price ties to US telecom prices to ensure continued competativeness for the next ten years for all broadband and telecom services. Deviation from these prices ties should be met with crippling fines.
 
Problem:
ADSL has a short lifespan. There is no evidence of a viable strategy for higher bandwidth services for the future. This endangers the competativeness of the British economy in the future.
 
Suggested Remedy:
Force telcos to construct plans for broadband fibre access to replace exising copper cables to residential and business customers. Deployment of such services should be over the next 2 years with 95% coverage of the UK within this 2 year period with future 3-4 year plans to upgrade equipment on a demand basis as bandwith requiements increase. Failure to propose plans for this large scale deployment within 6 months should lead to Oftel construction of plans for the telecom operators to implement with the penalty for non-cooperation being the removal of licence to operate within the UK telecom market and the transfer to state control of any assets essential to the functioning of UK telcoms, for which such a telcom firm would be payed a leasing cost, based on the usage by other private telecom firms of their assets.
 
Problem:
BT has a conservative backward looking management, intent on short term profit, regardless of the consequences to their own company.
 
Suggested Remedy:
Ban cross subsidising of divisions of BT so that all divisions of BT must achieve financial stability. This is anti competative, but apparently common practice at BT. Failing this, BT should be broken up in to seperated divisions that should be run independantly. Time scale: 2 weeks.