BT must legally separate from Openreach

Divorce Just Ahead SignTelecoms watchdog Ofcom has barked at BT to legally separate from its Openreach division.

For those who came in late Openreach runs the UK’s broadband infrastructure and considerably miffs BT’s rivals including Sky and Talk Talk.

They claim that Openreach charged too much for the use of broadband lines and was unresponsive to their demands. They wanted a full break-up of BT, with Openreach being turned into a separate company.

Now it seems that Ofcom agrees saying that BT had not voluntarily addressed competition concerns Ofcom laid out in July, it said.

Ofcom said it was preparing a formal notification to the European Commission to start the process.

The regulator has resisted calls to split Openreach off entirely.

Ofcom said BT had not gone far enough to address its concerns about BT’s ability to favour its retail business when making investment decisions in Openreach.

It wants Openreach to become a distinct company with its own board, with non-executives and a chair unaffiliated with BT.

Openreach would have a duty to treat all its customers equally, the regulator said.