The government is considering removing legislation that protects telecomms workers from violence in as little as two years time.
Under Section 46 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 it is an offence for a person to assault or obstruct a telecommunications operator trying to do his job, but this section may be repealed due to new legislation currently being drafted.
"The change will make little difference to telecoms workers," said a spokesperson at the Department of Trade and Industry. "Everyone is protected from assault under civil and criminal law anyway, which makes this part of the Act redundant."
BT has in the past stood up against repealing this section claiming its staff needs protection.
"Many of our staff are assaulted and we want as much legislation to protect them as possible," said BT spokesperson. "We will be liasing with the DTI to ensure the most favourable outcome for our workers."
"This is a bigger issue than the government is making [of it]," said a spokesperson at Cable & Wireless, "and hopefully the new legislation will incorporate new rights."