The government will lift BT?s broadcasting ban only gradually, said Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, yesterday.
Beckett told journalists that BT?s ban from broadcasting entertainment services over its networks would be lifted by stages. But she added that it would depend on how long potential competitors had been established in each area, and whether there was effective competition in the region. ?It would not be right for the ban simply to be lifted, when in some areas individual competitors? franchises have been awarded much later than in others,? she commented.
In 1995, Labour leader Tony Blair said he would lift BT?s ban in return for the telco linking up schools and other public services to the information superhighway for free. The previous government had promised the ban would be lifted in 2002.
However, Beckett declined to say when the lifting of the ban would begin.
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