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    BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

    This is a discussion on BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; News & media Openreach to be a legally separate company within BT with its own Board Around 32,000 employees to ...

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      BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      News & media
      Openreach to be a legally separate company within BT with its own Board

      Around 32,000 employees to transfer once pension arrangements are in place


      Openreach Limited to have its own brand without the BT logo

      BT and Ofcom have reached agreement on a long-term regulatory settlement that will see Openreach become a distinct, legally separate company with its own Board[1], within the BT Group. The agreement is based upon voluntary commitments submitted by BT that the regulator has said meet its competition concerns.

      Once the agreement is implemented:


      • Around 32,000 employees will transfer to the new Openreach Limited following TUPE consultation, and once pension arrangements are in place.
      • Openreach Limited will have its own branding, which will not feature the BT logo.
      • The Openreach CEO will report to the Openreach Chairman with accountability to the BT Group Chief Executive with regards to certain legal and fiduciary duties that are consistent with BT’s responsibilities as a listed company.


      Openreach, which builds and maintains the tens of millions of copper and fibre lines that run from telephone exchanges to homes and businesses across the UK, will assume greater independence under its own Board of Directors.

      The agreement is intended to be comprehensive and enduring, helping to ensure the UK telecommunications market remains one of the most competitive in the world. Hundreds of telecoms companies already use Openreach and its national network on an equivalent basis, and many others are competing with them. That will continue with enhanced safeguards to ensure all of Openreach’s customers are treated equally.

      Gavin Patterson, BT Chief Executive, said: “I believe this agreement will serve the long-term interests of millions of UK households, businesses and service providers that rely on our infrastructure. It will also end a period of uncertainty for our people and support further investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure.

      “This has been a long and challenging review where we have been balancing a number of competing interests. We have listened to criticism of our business and as a result are willing to make fundamental changes to the way Openreach will work in the future.”

      The agreement, when in place, will provide BT and other companies with greater regulatory clarity and certainty which is vital for investment. This will help the UK retain its position as the leading digital economy in the G20 by share of GDP, with the largest superfast network among major European nations.

      The transfer of around 32,000 employees, under TUPE regulations, will be one of the largest such transfers in UK corporate history. It will take place once the agreement has been implemented and pension arrangements are in place for these employees. Under the agreement, Openreach will manage and operate its assets and trading but ownership of those assets and trading will remain with BT.

      The agreement builds on changes that BT has already made to the governance of Openreach in recent months. These include the creation of an Openreach Board with a majority of independent members.

      This Board will set Openreach’s medium term and annual operating plans and determine which technologies are deployed, within a strategic and financial framework defined by BT. Openreach will be free to explore alternative co-investment models in private with third parties.

      The Openreach CEO will report into the Openreach Chairman, with accountability to the BT Group Chief Executive with regards to certain legal and fiduciary duties that are consistent with BT’s responsibilities as a listed company.

      The commitments that BT has notified to Ofcom are available at: Delivering UK's digital future : Home


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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      Sky’s statement in response to today’s Ofcom/Openreach announcement

      https://corporate.sky.com/media-cent...h_announcement
      n response to Ofcom's statement this morning a Sky spokesperson said:

      "This is a welcome step that we have long called for on behalf of our customers.

      A more independent Openreach is a step towards delivering better service to customers and the investment that the UK needs.

      It’s important that today’s agreement is now implemented by BT in good faith and without delay."

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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      Bye, Bye, Bye and Good Riddance




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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      This...coming from the same Sky who have abandoned their own trials of FTTP!!

      Nothing will change and this won't make a slightest bit of difference. I really don't understand why people think it will?

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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      I guess that we are hoping that now that Openreach has to encourage their customers to deal with them, they will have to clean up their act.

      Of course if they don't Sky are free to build their own infrastructure.

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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      I guess that we are hoping that now that Openreach has to encourage their customers to deal with them, they will have to clean up their act.
      Time will tell I suppose.

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      Of course if they don't Sky are free to build their own infrastructure.
      But they won't of course, mainly because the required investment would be absolutely massive. And if the 21st Century Fox takeover bid for Sky succeeds, I'll wager that the new owners won't be remotely interested in backing any such venture.

      One possible solution could be a new infrastructure, jointly developed by Sky, TalkTalk and others, to compete with Openreach infrastructure. But my guess is that if such a thing were to come into being, it would be many years away and would probably just cover some densely populated areas. I wouldn't see it reaching out into the sticks beyond large cities.
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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      Yes it would take a substantial amount of investment from Sky to build a nationwide infrastructure. Admittedly I was hoping that the joint venture between CitFibre, TalkTalk and Sky was going to take off. However it's not outside the realms of possibility.

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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      Hello All
      Having just upgraded to Sky Fibre unlimited : I think the chances of Me ever
      getting FTTP are remote at best & if ever it will not be in My Lifetime....!!!!!
      The change for Openreach is a paper exercise to keep Offcom quite & I cannot
      see any major alterations to their approach happening anytime soon.............

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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      Admittedly I was hoping that the joint venture between CitFibre, TalkTalk and Sky was going to take off. However it's not outside the realms of possibility.
      Agreed but I think that, if it ever does happen, it may well be somewhat limited geographically, depending on wheresoever CityFibre might choose to expand to (very unlikely to be small towns and rural areas though).
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      Re: BT and Ofcom reach agreement on future governance of Openreach

      Certainly at first any such network would be limited in it's geographical network.

      The early beginnings of telephone system which we have today in the UK actually mimics some aspects of the VM cable network.

      A short history of telecommunications in the UK - BT
      The network of private telegraph companies was nationalised and operations were taken over by the Post Office.
      Sure the telegraph network was soon developing into a telephone network, but it too was only gradually introduced nationwide.

      Over a hundred years later most people now have access to a landline and most of those have access to broadband, should they want it.

      In this light it is possible to see that the various FTTP providers could consider working more closely together and build a proper rival to the Openreach network over time.

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