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Deal to devolve UK’s Openreach now in place

The biggest reform of the UK’s wholesale network, Openreach, is set to conclude after parent company BT agreed to regulator Ofcom’s requirements for the legal separation of its network division. This means Openreach will become a distinct company with its own staff and management, together with its own strategy and a legal purpose to serve all of its customers equally. BT has agreed to all of the changes needed to address Ofcom’s competition concerns. As a result, Ofcom will no longer need to impose these changes through regulation. The reforms have been designed to begin this year. Ofcom says Openreach will be incorporated as a legally separate company within BT Group, and will develop its own strategy and annual operating plans, within an overall budget set by BT Group. The new Openreach will directly employ all its 32,000 staff, who will be transferred across from BT, and assets will be controlled by Openreach alone. Openreach will also be obliged to consult formally with customers such as Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone on large-scale investments. In future, there will be a “confidential” phase during which customers can discuss ideas without this being disclosed to BT Group, as well as further protections for confidential customer information. See more here 

  • Friday, 17 March 2017

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