Trade and Industry Press Notice No 11

PRESS NOTICE

PUBLICATION OF REPORT AND PRESS CONFERENCE

UK Broadband Market

The Trade and Industry Select Committee today publishes its report on the UK Broadband Market.

Amongst its conclusions are:

•  The Government's aim is to make the UK market for broadband both extensive and competitive. However, in the short term there may be a trade-off between these goals. This should be acknowledged and clear priorities set.

•  In order for the UK to fully realise the benefits that broadband can bring, available bandwidth needs to keep pace with new applications.

•  Despite its dominant position, it would not be desirable for BT to be broken up-this would contribute little to achieving the Government's goals of extensiveness and competitiveness.

•  There is no case for a massive public subsidy of broadband infrastructure.

•  To date, key players in the market have lacked confidence in the regulatory regime.  This situation needs to be changed.

Martin O'Neill MP, the Committee Chairman, said "Continued investment in broadband is vital if the UK is to make the most of the opportunities it offers. It is imperative that the regulatory regime has the confidence of the industry if this investment is to be sustained. However, we are not convinced that the breaking up of BT would contribute to this".

For further information please contact the Committee Office 020 7219 5777/ 5779.

10 February 2004