Ofcom has ordered BT to legally separate from its Openreach division. They felt BT had not addressed competitors concerns over its favouring of retail business when it came to making investment decisions. Ofcom want to create a more independent Openreach in the hope that it leads to better service quality through greater investment in networks.

It’s uncertain at this stage how much control BT will be able to exert over Openreach under the new structure but the idea will be that customers such as Sky and TalkTalk are able to confidentially consult with Openreach. Ofcom said, “A more independent Openreach would be well placed to invest in ‘full fibre’ broadband for everyone… Openreach would be guaranteed greater independence to make decisions on strategic investments, with a duty to treat all of its customers equally”.

What This Could Mean for Businesses

Ofcom believe this move will improve service times as well as delivery of broadband into difficult-to-reach locations. It’s felt there isn’t enough investment in upgrades, ageing copper wire needs replacing and that faults aren’t repaired quickly enough. With a more independent Openreach, Ofcom hope these issues are addressed. With these challenges tackled, businesses could experience quicker install and fix times as well as greater coverage and availability in the first instance.