8/17/2015 2:59:07 PM
Openreach CEO: BT relationship ‘works extremely well’
Openreach boss Joe Garner has rejected calls for the broadband division to be separated from its BT parent.
Garner refuted claims that a wholly separated Openreach would be able to focus on rolling out broadband more effectively, claiming the ‘current construct is working extremely well’.
Speaking on BBC4, he said: ‘I can tell you categorically that our top priority is rolling out fibre to more and more of the country. I very much doubt that [anyone] would have been able to make the investment in fibre that BT made five years ago in the depths of recession. That’s led to our Europe leading position today.
‘We’re well on our way to 95 percent coverage by 2017 and frankly I don’t want anything to get in the way of that. The current construct is working extremely well. We’re leading Europe and we will continue’.
As part of the first phase of its digital communications review, Ofcom recently announced it may consider splitting Openreach off from BT. The regulator found that the broadband division may give BT ‘incentive to discriminate against competitors’.
However, Garner explained that Openreach is not affected by the commercial considerations of BT, claiming ‘we treat all customers equally’.
Ofcom has previously faced calls from BT’s competitors Talk Talk and Sky to separate the telecoms giant from Openreach. The issue has caused tensions between the companies to escalate, with BT slamming the ‘staggering hypocrisy’ of its competitors.