DIRECTORATE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
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During the time preceding and following the decision by Central Government to privatise the Directorate, the organisation underwent a large, and for many a traumatic, period of change before relinquishing public sector status by being sold in a competitive trade sale to NTL on 1st March 1994.
The wide ranging changes included:
- Closing Central Communications Establishment at Harrow and merging operation with other parts of the organisation, such as Bishops Cleeve and Stanmore.
- Closing Bridgend Depot and transferring operational responsibility for the South Wales region to Romsley Depot.
- Formation of DTELS in April 1991 and transferring core staff, those involved with regulatory matters and mainly based at Horseferry House, to Home Office RFCPU.
- In the summer of 1992 (i) closing Bishops Cleeve and Weyhill Maintenance Units and transferring the work to Kippax Maintenance Unit and (ii) closing Horseferry House and Stanmore and establishing a reduced Headquarters presence at a new building on the Ruddington Business Park near Nottingham.
- By the summer of 1994 and following the trade sale, closure of Headquarters at Ruddington and merging operational responsibility within the wider NTL organisation, mainly at Crawley Court near Winchester.
The period of change started around the late 1980’s as the WARC changeover project was coming to a successful conclusion and was driven by the need to place the organisation on a commercial and financial footing. Ultimately, this led to changes in working practices, closure of buildings, merging operations and the loss of many skilled and highly experienced people through voluntary and compulsory redundancy. In the case of Headquarters staff who moved their home to the Nottingham area in 1992, many were subsequently made redundant less than two years later.
The effects of the change were felt for many years after the trade sale as DTELS staff who remained with NTL, later to become Virgin Media then Arqiva, were subjected to more change and various rounds of redundancies.