British Telecommunications Plc has been warned by the UK Office of Telecommunications to treat Mercury Communications – originated traffic travelling over its network on a par with the service it gives its own customers – or face the legal consequences. The Director General of Telecommunications Bryan Carsberg has intervened because joint tests by Telecom and Mercury show that 13% of calls by Mercury customers suffer problems in making connections over the final British Telecom loop compared with 5% of calls originated by Telecom users. British Telecom’s licence gives me the authority to make a legally enforceable directive requiring Telecom to carry out the terms of the interconnection agreement said Carsberg. The problem is caused by congestion and is occurring throughout the entire network according to Mercury. Telecom claims that the problem is purely of a technical nature but that does not come as a suprise to the company. It is the first time anywhere in the world that a telecom provider has been asked to provide interlinking at the local level and we would have been surprised if there were not any problems said an official. However British Telecom claims that it now working flat out alongside Mercury to resolve the problem. Earlier this year, Mercury complained to Oftel that Telecom was giving its own customers priority over Mercury cus tomers in interlinking to its main trunk network.