Examination of Witnesses (Questions 96
WEDNESDAY 31 JANUARY 2001
A CARTER, MR
96. Gentlemen, I would like to welcome you to
this meeting, the second hearing in this inquiry we are conducting
into the Government's Communications White Paper. I am sorry that
the attendance is less full than it is normally, but some of our
colleagues are involved in a debate in Westminster Hall, others
are members of a legislative Standing Committee, next door, and
because of this they have other calls on their time, but that
does not mean that we shall not interrogate you severely and that
we shall not take full and careful account of the important evidence
that you will be providing.
(Mr Carter) Thank you, Chairman.
97. Good morning. Do you think that the Government
is right to think in terms of a possible future universal obligation
to ensure everybody has access to more rapid digital services?
(Mr Carter) Absolutely, we do. I think our view on
that would be the time-line of that ambition, the nature of the
access and the type of digital services that they have access
to; so we would endorse the ambition. But we would want, I think,
to work in partnership to ascertain over what period of time,
the nature of the access and the quantity and type of services
that people have access to.
98. Do you mean, working in partnership with
(Mr Carter) Correct.
99. In what way?
(Mr Carter) I think the White Paper lays out clearly
the need and the value of a single regulator, and as we move into
a converged world the benefit of converging the regulatory environment
seems to us to be a sensible one; and, in that sense, we would
want to work with the proposed regulator, to ensure that the time-line
was a sensible one.