Bryan Carsberg Returns to Telecoms Arena on BT Equality of Access Board

The former head of Oftel, Sir Bryan Carsberg has returned to the telecoms arena as a member of the Equality of Access Board (EAB). This Board is being created as a result of the new regulatory settlement confirmed by Ofcom on September 22. BT also revealed the Board will be operational from 1 November, a full four and a half months ahead of schedule.

The EAB will monitor, report and advise on BT’s compliance with the Undertakings given to, and accepted by, Ofcom on September 22. In particular, it will oversee the provision of certain products on an equivalent basis and the performance of the newly created openreach business. It will not have an executive policy-making role.

The five members of the EAB are: Carl Symon, a BT Group non-executive director who is the chairman, Sally Davis, BT’s chief portfolio officer, and three independent external members, Sir Bryan Carsberg, Stephen Pettit and Dr Peter Radley. The independent members bring to the EAB a wealth of relevant experience in the telecommunications industry and regulation, coupled with wide-ranging consumer, financial and commercial expertise. Their appointments were carried out in consultation with Ofcom.

Sir Christopher Bland, BT chairman, said: “The creation of this Board is a central plank of the new regulatory settlement. The fact that it will be operational several months ahead of schedule is evidence of BT’s firm commitment to the settlement and the delivery of equivalence.”

Carl Symon, chairman of the EAB, added: “The Equality of Access Board has a key role to play in ensuring there is widespread confidence in the new regulatory regime. Sir Bryan Carsberg, Stephen Pettit and Peter Radley bring an outstanding mix of relevant knowledge, ability and experience to the board. Together with Sally Davis, who plays a pivotal role in BT, they constitute a formidable team to tackle the job ahead.”

As required by the Undertakings given to Ofcom on 22 September 2005, the EAB will report regularly to the BT Group plc Board, provide minutes of its meetings to Ofcom and send a report on its review of BT’s compliance with the Undertakings to Ofcom annually. It will be supported by the full-time Equality of Access Office and its own Secretariat.

Sir Bryan Carsberg has had a distinguished academic and business career. He was professor of accounting and business finance and dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Studies at Manchester University, before becoming professor of accounting at the London School of Economics from 1981 to 1984.

He has served in a number of high-profile positions in public office, including Director General of Oftel (the former telecommunications regulator) from 1984 to 1992, Director General of the Office of Fair Trading from 1992 to 1995 and Secretary General of the International Accounting Standards Committee from 1995 to 2001.

He received his knighthood in 1989.

Sir Bryan Carsberg is currently Chairman of Council and Pro-Chancellor of Loughborough University. He holds a number of non-executive board appointments. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant.