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Sky has hailed Ofcom's call for BT and Openreach to be legally separated, but said the watchdog could have gone further.

Ofcom has ordered BT to give more independence and investment powers to Openreach, with the broadband subsidiary being run as a distinct and legally separate company with its own board.

The watchdog believes its proposals will provide Openreach with the greatest possible degree of independence without separating the companies entirely, and lead to decisions being taken for the good of its customers and the wider telecoms industry.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive of Sky, described the regulator's proposals as a "step in the right direction".

However, he said they still fall short of the "full change that would have guaranteed the world-class broadband network customers expect and the UK will need".

"In particular, leaving Openreach’s budget in the hands of BT Group raises significant questions as to whether this will really lead to the fibre investment Britain requires," he commented.

"At the end of the day, Ofcom’s changes will only work if they deliver better outcomes for customers."

Nevertheless, Mr Darroch stated that the changes put forward by Ofcom must be implemented as soon as possible, in full and "without dilution".

"We are encouraged by Ofcom’s stated commitment and willingness to use its powers to hold BT’s feet to the fire," he added.

TalkTalk was more critical about Ofcom's proposals, saying that in "taking one cautious step forward", it has "accidentally taken five steps back".

Speaking to BBC News, Chief Executive Dido Harding said: "Legal separation still means that we'll all be pouring over a complex web of regulation and BT has proven itself expert at gaming the system."

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