Skip to main content
Jump to navigation
bt openreach

The government could be set to reconsider the case for a full structural separation of BT and Openreach.

Last year, BT agreed to Ofcom's demand for its infrastructure subsidiary to become a distinct and legally separate company.

As part of this agreement, Openreach must have its own distinctive branding, with any traces of BT's imagery removed to reflect its greater independence.

The deal with Ofcom also means that Openreach is being run by a newly-established board, the majority of which consists of directors independent of BT.

Ofcom had stopped short of calling for a full split from BT, arguing 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.

However, this could be set to change, as the Telegraph has quoted unnamed Westminster sources who say the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is looking again at imposing a full split as part of its review of future telecoms infrastructure.

"Lots of investors are now seeing the potential of full fibre," one source commented.

"BT and Openreach have more to gain than most, but are not investing properly. We need to look at why.”

Openreach recently pledged to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband, which offers speeds of up to 1Gbps, available to three million premises by 2020.

The organisation believes this will set it "on the right trajectory" to achieve its goal of building a ten million FTTP footprint by the mid-2020s.

Responding to the latest rumours, a BT spokesman said this goal can only be achieved if its 900,000 investors are given "certainty and stability about how we are regulated".

The official added that BT is therefore working very closely with ministers and with Ofcom to "create the conditions to ensure that investment can be pursued".

Join the conversation

comments powered by Disqus

Stay up to date

  • Google+ Follow uSwitchTech

Latest Comments

Search news