Teletext

Oral Answers to Questions — Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th March 1983.

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Photo of Mr Michael Colvin Mr Michael Colvin , Bristol North West 12:00 am, 14th March 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will report on progress in setting up Teletext.

Photo of Mr John Butcher Mr John Butcher , Coventry South West

Teletex is British Telecom's text communication service which enables word processors and computer terminals to communicate over the telephone network. BT hopes to begin a service later this year.

I announced a Teletex promotion initiative in November 1982, offering £4 million support to stimulate the use of Teletex. STC, Mitel, Plessey, Ferranti and GEC have been selected to provide equipment starting in the autumn of this year.

Photo of Mr Michael Colvin Mr Michael Colvin , Bristol North West

I should point out a misprint on the Order Paper? Teletex is spelt with an "x". There should not be a "t" at the end.

I am sure that the House will welcome my hon. Friend's announcement, which is further proof that the Government are putting their money where their mouth is on high technology. Will my hon. Friend take this opportunity to welcome British Telecom's initiative?

Photo of Mr John Butcher Mr John Butcher , Coventry South West

My hon. Friend is right to say that Teletex should not be confused with Teletext. Teletex is a means of communicating text rapidly between terminals over the BT network. The scheme is one of enlightened purchasing, which is designed to pull through technology on a user requirement basis. It will leave the United Kingdom Limited very well placed in international markets.

Photo of Mr Doug Hoyle Mr Doug Hoyle , Warrington

I may agree with the Minister, but is it not also true that we are falling behind many of our competitors in information technology and technology in general and that we need even more money and an even greater drive?

Photo of Mr John Butcher Mr John Butcher , Coventry South West

The hon. Gentleman should be aware that, under this Administration, there has been a huge shift of resources towards the new technologies, particularly information technology, under the guidance of my hon. Friend the Minister for Industry and Information Technology. This is a most dynamic area of the market, and we are anxious to ensure that British companies begin to redress the imbalance in payments in high technology.