The future of telecomms watchdog Oftel, is in the spotlight again as the DTI announces a wide-ranging review of utility regulation.
The review, overseen by Margaret Beckett, president of the board of trade will examine the current system, and whether it maintains proper incentives for innovation and investment, while providing adequate returns to shareholders.
The government has been critical of how privatised utilities have been run particularly the large shareholder payouts, huge profits and fat-cat salaries for poor quality of service.
Oftel said the news came as no surprise and welcomed the review. Director general Don Cruickshank said: ?Oftel welcomes the review and proposes to contribute. The review team has made it clear that our views will be welcome, along with those of other people.?
The watchdog?s future has been under speculationm since new Labour came into power in May. The party had discussed the combination of the Independent Television Commission (ITC) and Oftel to become Office of Communications (Ofcom).
This would reflect the merging of TV and telecommunications and integrate the ITC?s and Oftel?s respective remit of regulating TV content and the delivery mechanisms of digital TV.
The DTI?s review will examine water, gas, electricity and transport, as well as telecomms.
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