Ofcom published their consultation on ‘Strengthening Openreach’s strategic and operational independence.’
In response, Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk Group, commented:
“The creation of a legally separate Openreach is a step in the right direction, but we must not forget the history of the organisation. The intention ten years ago was to create a functionally separate division that served all customers equally, but that is far from what happened. The lack of clear rules and responsibilities meant that BT was (according to Ofcom) able to make £4billion in excess returns in a decade, and I fear we’re repeating the mistakes of the past.
“Legal separation still means that a highly complex web of regulation, and BT has proven itself expert at gaming this system. There is nothing to suggest they will not continue to do so in the new system. Structural separation is cleaner, with less red tape – and removes BT's ability to exploit loopholes in the regulation. In taking one cautious step forward, I fear Ofcom may in practice have taken five steps back.
"However we should remember this is just a consultation. Now is the time for the country to make their voices heard, and we are going to help them do that over the course of the next few months.”
The presentation given by Dido Harding and Andrew Griffiths outlining their 10 point plan for a better Openreach can be found here.