It all goes back to 2006, when Ofcom forced BT to set up Openreach as a separate division that manages its network infrastructure across the UK.
This was supposed to give rival telephone and internet service providers (ISPs) equal access to BT’s wide-reaching network of copper and fibre cables and promote competition.
The signs are that it more or less worked, but now, Sky and TalkTalk are urging Ofcom to split up BT and Openreach completely.
TalkTalk’s CEO Dido Harding says it’s “crucial” that Openreach is separated because it would encourage the subsidiary to focus exclusively on the quality of its network.
At the heart of the problem is the BT and EE merger because the pair will have too much influence over the UK telecoms market and reduce their level of investment in Openreach.
Sky holds a similar view saying that splitting Openreach and BT “is at the heart of creating a sustainable industry” that allows multiple providers to compete.
Ofcom just announced its second ‘Strategic Review of Digital Communications’ and since this was the first to led to the creation of Openreach, it is an opportunity for BT’s rivals to put the boot in.
Ofcom is expected to be releasing a “discussion document” this summer, but the regulator’s initial conclusions won’t be published until the end of 2015.