§ Mr. Congdon
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many telecommunications licences have been granted since the duopoly review in 1991.
§ Mr. Ian Taylor
I have today granted licences to Concert—the joint venture between BT and Microwave Communications International, MCI—and AT and T. This brings the number of licences granted since the end of the telecommunications duopoly to 60.
The privatisation and liberalisation of telecommunications in this country have made the UK one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of the availability of modern, competitive telecommunication services. The services that Concert and AT and T plan to provide under these new licences will further boost competition in the international simple resale market, which is already one of the most exciting sectors in telecommunications. Prices are falling for international calls, benefiting both business and individuals.