Over in the UK, the ongoing round of regulatory wrestling match between BT and Ofcom may have finally been decided. BT has agreed to legally separate its Openreach division, splitting off the company’s fiber and copper infrastructure from the parent’s direct control.
Once implemented, Openreach will have its own board and brand, and its CEO will report to the chairman of that board, but with accountability to the CEO of BT Group for legal and fiduciary duties. BT remains the ultimate parent, but with indirect control. The hope is that as a result the incumbent provider’s assets will be accessible to all providers in the market in a more transparent and fair way.
Openreach will also be free to ‘explore alternative co-investment models in private with third parties’. Just what that will mean in practice when it comes to the capex Openreach spends and what it spends it on seems like an open question.
Some 32,000 employees will be transferred to Openreach, along with their pensions and all that.
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