UK Regulators Push BT to Separate Faster

November 29th, 2016 by · Leave a Comment

Back in July, the British regulator Ofcom ordered BT to separate its Openreach wholesale wireline arm and operate it as a separate company.  That process has apparently not gone as they desired, because today they ratcheted up the pressure further.  

Ofcom says that while some progress has been made, it has not been enough — especially in the areas of transferring assets and personel.  The two sides haven’t reached a voluntary deal, and so Ofcom will be asking the EC to force the issue, Brexit notwithstanding I guess.

BT of course objects to the idea they are dragging their feet.  It says the two remaining issues are the reporting line of the Openreach CEO and the form of legal incorporation, and that it continues to negotiate with Ofcom.  Basically, that translates to just how much influence BT would have over Openreach decisions.  But what Ofcom is not doing is forcing a complete separation, to the chagrin of some competitors.

Frankly, I’d have been amazed if BT had made more progress than this in a mere four months or so even if they wanted to do this, which of course they don’t.

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Categories: Government Regulations · ILECs, PTTs

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