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Competition threatens thousands of BT jobs

TENS OF THOUSANDS of jobs will go in coming years as British Telecom faces up to competition from the cable television industry and other new entrants to the telecommunications market, writes Mary Fagan.

The company, which has already said it will shed 15,000 jobs this year, expects its workforce to reduce to around 100,000 people from about 145,000 today.

Last week BT was dealt a blow when the House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee failed to recommend an early end to the ban on BT offering entertainment services over its wires.

The select committee preferred a phased end to the ban but British Telecom would like to enter the entertainment service market as quickly as possible in order to fund the continued development of its network throughout the UK.