§ 27. Mr. John Marshall
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the regulation of the telecommunications industries. 
§ Mr. Ian Taylor
Telecommunications have a key role to play in building UK competitiveness, both in attracting new investment and in revolutionising the way all companies do business. The UK led the way for telecommunications worldwide by privatising BT in 1984 and by progressively liberalising the UK market. This policy has been an outstanding success. Business and residential consumers have benefited from lower prices, a real and growing choice of operator, and innovative new services. BT's prices have reduced by around 40 per cent. overall in real terms since 1984. Liberalisation has also stimulated the introduction of multimedia services, which will enable the UK to be at the forefront of the transition to the information society. The Government launched the information society initiative in February to increase awareness of the new opportunities created.