that the telecommunications industry should pay the cost of maintaining the industry regulator. The only other source for the money is the public purse, and why should the taxpayer fork out for something that - in a well-run industry - shouldn't be necessary anyway?
OK, I'll admit that's a little idealistic, but if ISP's with a turnover of more than £5 million are faced with paying for Oftel (soon to be replaced with OFCOM) they might take a good deal more interest in how the £20 million it costs to run Oftel is spent.
In an ideal world an industry would be self-regulating, with checks and balances in place, and a healthy attitude to customer service. That it's necessary to have a statutory body with powers to regulate is a comment on the way the industry polices itself, so maybe there's a kind of poetic justice in this proposal.