US telecom company RSL has accused British government regulator Oftel of “bungling” attempts to reduce BT’s dominance and increase broadband internet access.

Oftel is trying to make the local telephone market more competitive by giving BT’s rivals access to its local phone exchanges. However, RSL has abandoned the plans, claiming they are too slow and concern only sparsely populated areas.

“Oftel had the chance to create real competition to BT in the local exchanges but it wasted the opportunity” said Barry Mowbray, RSL’s UK managing director, “It's a disappointing situation that makes a mockery of the regulator's vision of broadband Britain”.

In response, Oftel argued that some compromises were essential if the “unbundling” process is to keep to schedule.

Competitors are worried that BT will tighten its grip on the small business market. Yesterday the company announced it was in talks with AT&T, and the two firms are expected to offer a joint transatlantic business service.

News source: Financial Times