BT offer partial split to regulators

BT offer partial split to regulators

The chairman of BT, Sir Mike Rake, doesn't want to see BT and Openreach being split up by authorities. So, in an attempt to stop this from happening, he's had an idea.

BT have suggested that they could set up an independent board and chairman to run Openreach, in a bid to appease BT's rivals who have been hounding them for a while.

Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and others, have been demanding that BT and Openreach are split up, to ensure that they get a fairer deal when accessing BT's internet network, and of course, the idea is that the competition would ensure there's a better service for everyone in the UK.

This week, Ofcom are going to issue their verdict on the future of Openreach after discussions with telco giant, as well as their rivals and consumer groups.

"We're absolutely willing to form an Openreach board that will have an independent chairman, a majority of independent directors," said Rake on Radio 4.

He added that BT are also "willing to give more authority to Openreach on determination of its capital investment programme" and that they would like to "formalise" communications with their rivals "so they're engaging with them in ensuring that we can also make sure that we're delivering for them as well as for BT retail".

Sounds like a last ditch attempt to stop Ofcom from taking the axe to them from here, and there's a lot of people who expect that a separation will be announced this week.

However, this is Ofcom we're talking about here, who have been known for being weak-wristed in the past.

Should the two be prised apart, then we could also see a lot of legal disputes, which will be costly and generally really irritating for everyone concerned. This is by no means a simple task.

That said, with four in five broadband connections in the UK are supplied through the Openreach network, something needs to change.

Openreach has been accused for some years, of offering poor service to broadband providers, and only last week, there were outages for BT customers, which means goodwill toward the company might be in short supply.

Either way, we're going to find out what is going down this week. Hopefully, the service to the consumer is at the forefront of discussions.

1 comment

  • maddogb

    About time something was done and spitting up this sycophantic pair is a start, a review board? nah just another excuse for BT to hire more expensive cronies to see things their way and probably a million less pounds to spend onimproving the piece of crap telecoms infrastructure we have in this country

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