§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what further arrangements he is making for private sector supplies of key telephone systems to be marketed in competition against those offered by British Telecom.302W
§ Mr. Butcher
I announced on 23 November 1982—[Vol. 32, c. 423]—interim approval scheme for certain small call routing and distribution apparatus. That scheme is nearing successful completion: since my announcement on 28 July — [Vol. 46, c. 575–76] — that increased testing resurces were being made available, some systems have been fully approved, and the others that were accepted under the scheme are in the concluding stages of evaluation.
The testing laboratories now have spare capacity. I am, therefore, announcing today a further interim approval scheme, under which manufacturers of key telephone systems may apply for approval, prior to the adoption of comprehensive standards for small call routing apparatus, for connection of their equipment direct to the British Telecommunications public switched telephone network. suppliers wishing to obtain approval for their apparatus should apply to the Department of Trade and Industry. The procedure to be followed for submitting such applications, and other relevant information, is set out in a statement which has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.