BT chief executive Peter Bonfield urged the European Union to regulate converging digital technologies in keeping with the 21st century.
Speaking at the ?Wall Street Journal? Europe?s annual chief executive summit, the outspoken telecoms leader called for a new regulatory structure that covers all converging technologies from telecoms to television.
?BT proposes a model in which regulatory bodies don?t try to focus on all stages in a single technology - such as TV or telecoms - but on individual stages common to all digital technologies,? Bonfield said.
The telco giant?s model includes four, overlapping areas: service provision, content creation, consumer equipment and distribution networks. The current set-up with its separate treatment of telecomms and television is out of date and does not reflect the market, according to Bonfield.
Other challenges for telcos might included buffering the impact of the Asian and Russian economic meltdown and closing the technology gap between Europea and the US.
Bonfield stressed that Europe needed ?an embedded climate of competition? to counter the transatlantic IT lag. However, he did concede that Europeans had stolen a high-tech march from their US counterparts in areas such as rapid telecomms deregulation, GSM mobile telephony and the digital television.
On the subject of BT?s future, Bonfield is mulling over how to spend the $7 billion (#4.3 billion)from Worldcom. The US giant guzumped BT in the race to buy MCI. BT made a $2.7 billion (#1.7 billion)profit on its original investment in MCI and won $465 million (#289 million) in the divorce settlement. Bonfield said that some of the money will fund global expansion.
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