The UK telecomms industry is to turn its back on an EU policy designed to make it easier for telcos to compete for international calls.
Last Friday a group of EU telecomms ministers agreed that most countries should introduce a policy called carrier preselection by the start of 2000. The scheme would do away with the need to dial special codes if they want their international and long distance calls handled by a carrier other than the national supplier, such as BT in the UK. Customers in the UK, for instance, could chose AT&T as their supplier for months at a time without having to dial the special numbers.
A spokesperson for UK telecomms watchdog, Oftel, said the country is against the idea and would continue to create a different method of ensuring international and long distance competition.
It argues that although it would make it easier for customers to manage their call it would deter competitors from operating because users would be unlikely to change suppliers as often or as easily as they do using the current method.
The Tory government blasted the scheme when it was originally proposed by the EU in a green paper published in February. At the time don Cruickshank, director general of Oftel said: ?The green paper does not recognise sufficiently that different member states are at different starting points in terms of the development of competition, and seeks to harmonise rules where harmonisation is not necessary.?
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