Are Ofcom’s recommendations enough to transform Openreach?

29th Jul 2016

The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom has recommended that BT’s network branch, Openreach, should become a separate company, but continue to operate under the telecoms giant’s watch.

Commenting in the Financial Times, rivals believe the move is a step in the right direction, but may not be enough to ensure that Openreach shifts its focus and delivers the service improvements that customers expect and deserve.

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding, for instance, believes regulatory changes are not enough to instil change. “Legal separation still means that we’ll all be poring over a highly complex web of regulation, and BT has proven itself expert at gaming the system,” she says. “There is nothing to suggest they will not continue to do so in the new system.”

Sky’s chief executive Jeremy Darroch agrees, claiming the legal separation “falls short of the full change that would have guaranteed the world-class broadband network customers expect and the UK will need”.

Ofcom’s recommendation comes just weeks after the latest meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Customer Service, which brought parliamentarians, regulators and businesses together to discuss a range of views about the necessity of regulation and how it might help or hinder customer service improvements. The APPG suggested organisations need to focus on personalisation of service and meeting their particular customers’ needs rather than meeting minimum regulatory standards.

Read our blog about the APPG’s discussion. 

Share this