Openreach Decision Welcomed

Eli Katz

ITSPA have welcomed today’s agreement between BT and Ofcom, surrounding the proposed legal separation of Openreach.

Reacting to the news, Eli Katz, Chair of ITSPA stated “Our members are pleased that Ofcom and BT have reached agreement on this issue. This is the right move at the right time and we believe this should satisfy the competition concerns that were raised within the Digital Communications Review. We hope that legal separation, rather than a more time-consuming and complicated structural separation is the right approach that should deliver significant improvements with relatively little disruption.”

Katz added “The issues around the quality of service provided by Openreach have been a concern for both consumers and industry alike and our members feel optimistic that today’s news will herald a step-change in its performance. The focus now for Ofcom must be to set up this new structure as quickly as possible and to then closely monitor its performance to ensure Openreach provides the necessary support to industry in order to meet the ever increasing demand for high quality communication services. Furthermore, Ofcom should also focus on the other steps that need to be taken to ensure a competitive telecoms industry in the UK, including the long overdue reform of the landline switching system.”

Dido Harding, Chief Executive Officer, TalkTalk commented:

“We welcome the agreement to create a legally separate Openreach. The new company will be better placed to deliver the improved investment and service that consumers and businesses deserve. This deal will require robust Ofcom monitoring and enforcement to ensure it delivers the improvements the regulator expects. We hope this is the start of a new deal for Britain’s broadband customers, who will be keen to see a clear timetable from Openreach setting out when their services will improve.”

In essence, this seem a very positive move and we hope it brings what BT Gavin Patterson stated:

“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.