Skip to main content
Jump to navigation
bt openreach

Giving more independence to Openreach will be good for consumers, the government has stated.

Earlier this week, Ofcom 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.

In response, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has said it agrees that Openreach needs to be more independent from BT, as both consumers and the UK's digital infrastructure will benefit.

BT has confirmed it has volunteered "significant" governance changes, but the DCMS believes its proposals "do not go far enough".

As a result, the government believes it is right that full structural separation remains a possibility.

"Swift and clear action is needed to give certainty to consumers, industry and investors in the UK’s broadband infrastructure, and which delivers rapid improvements in the level of investment and service," a spokesman commented.

Ofcom has also pointed out that BT's proposed governance reforms do not fully address its concerns in some "important areas", such as the need for Openreach to be a legally separate company.

Nevertheless, BT Group Chief Executive Gavin Patterson has insisted that its planned changes are "bold and appropriate".

"Proportionality has to underpin any regulatory solution," he commented.

"We have considered the more extreme solutions proposed by others but they would be overly complex, disproportionately costly and time consuming to implement. They would also undermine Openreach’s ability to invest and create years of uncertainty.”

The DCMS added that nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK now have access to superfast broadband.

"Our goal is to make sure the UK builds the right infrastructure to maintain our position as a world-leading digital nation," it said.

Join the conversation

comments powered by Disqus

Stay up to date

  • Google+ Follow uSwitchTech
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed

Latest Comments

Search news