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British Telecom

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with progress in the liberalisation programme as between his Department and British Telecom; and if he will make a statement.

I can never be totally satisfied with progress in this important area. Liberalisation began 15 months ago and should be essentially completed by July this year. The list of apparatus liberalised already includes extension telephones, telex teleprinters, discrete modems, all kinds of apparatus incorporating integral modems, call-makers and repetory diallers. This list will very soon be enlarged by cordless telephones, key telephone systems, small automatic call distribution apparatus and dealer boards as applications for approval of these items are dealt with.By July we expect to have extended liberalisation yet further to cover PABXs and their extension telephones, loudspeaking telephones, call-barring apparatus and call-diverters. Where the programme has fallen behind the Government's original targets, interim schemes have been introduced, and further schemes will be introduced, if necessary.