At last, it has happened. BT has announced its planned official split from Openreach.
You can tell from my opening line that I am all for this move which has come about after prolonged pressure from the telecoms regulator Ofcom.
Openreach, which runs the UK's broadband infrastructure – all the fibre connections, ducts and pipes – will become a distinct company with its own staff, management and strategy, and will be forced to consult with customers such as Sky and TalkTalk on major investments.
My enthusiasm for this announcement is in anticipated hope for the improved service we all crave, not just as a customer myself but as a reseller that delivers connectivity solutions on this infrastructure.
Like Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone, we have long suffered Openreach’s high charges, poor service and failure to invest in the division. We want to be able to offer a decent service to our customers but have often been thwarted by Openreach delays and inflated costs. The ideal result will be more widely available high-speed internet connectivity and lower prices for all customers.
As Ofcom’s chief executive Sharon White said: “The new Openreach will be built to serve all its customers equally, working truly independently and taking investment decisions on behalf of the whole industry – not just BT."
In other words, rather than Openreach just working to serve the needs of BT, they must look after the entire industry and work equally for all providers, which will hopefully lead to a fairer marketplace.
The split can only be viewed as a good thing. In fact, it’s about time.