Business to net benefit as Brown declares war on high telephone charges for internet use

Brown said he was concerned that high telephone charges were preventing British business from catching up with American companies in e-commerce. He wants to cut the cost of connections to unlock a massive increase in business done on the Web.

Britain is still lagging behind its us counterparts with only one in ten businesses selling online with one in four buying online. Fewer than one in five people have internet access. In the US the figure is one in two.

In the interview, published in today’s Financial Times newspaper, Brown reveals he hopes to cut charges by opening up British Telecommunications ‘local loop’ the wires that run into homes and businesses to greater competition.

Speaking to financiers in London last night, Brown said that telephone companies have made encouraging moves towards cutting the cost of internet access. But he added he remained concerned about the competitive disadvantage that British business faces in this area.

Internet and phone companies were reported to have welcome the news.

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