UK telcos suggest Openreach changes

18 May 2016

UK telcos Vodafone, TalkTalk and Sky, plus the Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) and the Federation of Communication Services (FCS), have jointly written to industry regulator Ofcom outlining ten proposals which they say will improve the operation of BT’s network unit Openreach. Ofcom stopped short of recommending a full structural separation of Openreach from BT in a review published in February this year, though it did say there should be changes to the way the division was governed. The group of BT rivals is suggesting ten changes for Openreach:

• it should become a legally separate company

• it should have an independent board

• it should be allowed to make independent investment decisions

• it should consult with customers about its future strategy

• it should have full control over its assets

• it should provide all services on the same basis, no matter the customer

• it should have a separate corporate identity and brand

• it should not inhibit investment by independent network operators

• it should make BT Consumer’s procurement truly contestable

• an independent body should be created to oversee the transition to a reformed Openreach.