Openreach must be 'distinct' company within BT, says watchdog

BT has avoided a full break-up with Openreach, its wholesale network, after an Ofcom review into the UK's broadband.

Openreach: must become a distinct company and brand from BT
Openreach: must become a distinct company and brand from BT

The watchdog called for Openreach to become a "distinct" company that is "legally separate" from BT with its own board and its own brand.

BT's wholesale division supplies broadband infrastructure for ISPs including Sky and Plusnet, despite the fact BT itself offers a broadband service.

The changes should mean Openreach engineers will "turn up on time", that BT will invest in infrastructure and that rivals will have access to BT's high-speed fibre network, according to Ofcom chief executive Sharon White. The reformed Openreach will have to consult with its customers on major investments.

But Ofcom has resisted calls from rivals to split off Openreach completely, despite MPs warning that this would relegate millions to poor broadband service.

In January, MPs found 5.7 million people do not receive minimum speeds as determined by the watchdog, due to poor service from Openreach.

Ofcom is seeking views on its proposals by 4 October.

Cannes Offer: 12 weeks' online access from just £12

Subscribe to Campaign before the end of Cannes Lions and save up to 71%


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Publicis Groupe withdraws from marketing and awards to focus on AI-powered platform Marcel

Publicis Groupe is pulling out of all marketing activity for the next 365 days - and won't be entering awards at Cannes next year - as it focuses its resources on developing Marcel, described by chief executive Arthur Sadoun as a ground breaking new platform.

Job description: Digital marketing executive

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

Just published