TalkTalk Chief Executive, Dido Harding said:
“We are delighted that Ofcom is undertaking a proper strategic review of the market. Britain can have a fantastic digital future with better infrastructure and higher take up of broadband driving stronger economic growth, but the current industry structure is not going to deliver that. A decade ago, Ofcom failed to break up BT and instead created Openreach. Whilst the last ten years have seen a lowering of prices and increased take-up, it is increasingly clear that the current market structure is not fit for purpose. BT’s proposed merger with EE threatens to make a bad situation worse. It will further starve Openreach of the focus and capital it needs and will extend BT’s dominance of the market. The larger group will have nearly 40% of the entire consumer telecoms market and nearly 70% of the wholesale market.
“It is crucial that we now seize this opportunity to structurally separate Openreach. A fully independent Openreach focused exclusively on infrastructure would be incentivised to maximise coverage and improve quality of service for customers. It would end BT’s ability to erode competition, stimulating innovation, consumer choice and lower prices. Separation would accelerate investment in Britain’s digital infrastructure as other providers will have the level playing field they need to build the competing modern infrastructure that our economy desperately needs. Ofcom’s review is very timely and is a crucial first step to securing a market that delivers for Britain.”