§ Mr. Neil Hamilton
asked the Secretary of Trade and Industry whether he will advise British Telecom to issue no further licences under the provisions of the British Telecommunications Act 1981.
§ Mr. Butcher
[pursuant to his reply, 22 February 1984, c. 536.]: In line with the evolution of the Government's liberalisation of telecommunications competition policy, the general authority to grant licences to run telecommunications systems issued to British Telecommunications under section 15(1)(b) of the British Telecommunications Act 1981, has been amended to exclude the grant of general and class licences. In future all such licences will be granted by the Secretary of State. We believe that until the Telecommunications Bill comes into force, the interests of telecommunication systems operators are generally best served by British Telecommunications continuing to grant individual licences under the British Telecommunications Act 1981 but the Secretary of State has power to issue any licence under the 1981 Act and it is open to any person to approach the Department of Trade and Industry direct.