Oftel opens Hull to BT challenge
Saturday 01 August 1998
As expected, Oftel yesterday cleared the way for British Telecom to compete in Hull for the first time, although it warned BT that any competition had to be fair.
As compensation, however, Oftel recommended that Kingston be allowed to offer residential telephone lines outside its own area, and be freed to bid for a cable franchise.
Despite being available since 1991, the Hull cable franchise has never been taken up by any of the established operators.
Kingston, which is considering a stock market flotation to raise funds, would not have to lay an entirely new network. The company has announced plans to upgrade its existing network with ADSL - a technology that allows digital signals to be sent down existing copper wires.
It is far from clear whether BT will take the opportunity to go into Hull. "We are looking what commercial opportunities this might represent for us," a BT spokeswoman said yesterday. However, it is thought unlikely that the group will dig up the streets of Hull in order to build a local network.
BT has been barred from competing with Kingston, which dominates the residential telephone market in the Hull area, although other operators have been free to offer services since 1991.
In a widespread consultation with Kingston customers, Oftel found that many were concerned that BT would undermine Kingston with unfair competition.
In an attempt to keep customers happy, Kingston has introduced innovations such as charging just 5.5p for every local call, no matter how long it lasts. This is likely to deter BT, which would not be allowed to match Kingston's offer if it entered the market.
Kingston, which has 170,000 customers in Hull, has been expanding outside the area for some time. The company's fast-growing Torch subsidiary has a licence to offer business telecom services across the UK.
Meanwhile, Oftel yesterday unveiled plans to charge telecom operators for telephone numbers in an attempt encourage them to use them more efficiently.
Oftel said that operators were currently using just 40 per cent of the numbers allocated to them, which led to number shortages.
The watchdog said that the move would put off future telephone code changes.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....