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Oftel

From Academic Kids

Oftel has been superseded as the British telecommunications regulator by Ofcom (the Office of Communications). For recent information on the regulation of telecommunications in the UK (from 2004 onwards), please see the Ofcom article.


The Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) (the telecommunications regulator) was a department in the United Kingdom government, under civil service control, charged with promoting competition and maintaining the interests of consumers in the British telecommunications market. It was set up under the Telecommunications Act 1984 after privatisation of the nationalised operator BT.

Oftel was accused by its critics of having been "captured" by British Telecom, and of giving the dominant operator too much freedom to leverage its monopoly status in fixed line telephony into other markets such as ADSL.

On 28 December 2003 the duties of Oftel were inherited by Ofcom, which is the result of a consolidation of the British telecommunication and broadcasting regulators.

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