Openreach to be split within BT

Openreach to be split within BT

Ofcom have made their announcement about BT and the mess surrounding Openreach.

They have said that Openreach must split within BT Group, in a bid to get things moving quickly and better for everyone, including BT's rivals.

There were calls to have the broadband wing split entirely from BT, but the request for a partial split seems to have done the trick. BT will be pleased with the result, while TalkTalk et al, may be a little frustrated with the outcome.

Why the disappointment? Well, BT's competition have been irritated by the conflict of interest, seeing as they have to go through BT - a competitor - to get access to the UK's broadband network - Openreach.

There's been a lot of talk saying that BT haven't been giving good service, have failed to roll out broadband quickly enough around the country, and of course, are charging Sky, Vodadone, TalkTalk, Virgin, and the rest.

Ofcom said that BT currently "retains influence over significant Openreach decisions."

"BT has an incentive to make these decisions in the interests of its own retail businesses, rather than BT's competitors, which can lead to competition problems."

However, they think the solution to this, is to become independent within itself, rather than separating them into two independent companies.

The regulator say that BT will still have control on who was on the board of Openreach, but the majority of members would have to be non-executives with no connections to BT themselves.

Sharon White, Ofcom's chief executive, said: "We're pressing ahead with the biggest shake-up of telecoms in a decade, to make sure the market is delivering the best possible services for people and business across the UK."

Rivals will still think that BT have an unfair advantage, so this problem may not go away just yet.

However, Ofcom will have managed to avoid a number of inevitable and expensive legal wranglings, which would have resulted from a complete split of the two companies.

With any luck, this will improve service for consumers and businesses, but we don't advise holding your breath.

1 comment

  • maddogb

    OFCOM FAIL! when wages are paid out of the same purse it is not possible to segregate the rest.

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