The UK's Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) carried out a detailed review in late 1986 of British Telecom's (BT) tariff charges and its profits. The review is significant because UK telecommunications policy directly links price controls on BT to the scope for competition in voice telephony. Oftel considered that BT is now making a 'reasonable' rate of return on its voice telephony services. This comment offers a critical analysis of Oftel's review and of the conclusions they draw on the extension of competition and the need for price controls. The authors argue that Oftel's review fails to conduct a satisfactory analysis.