REGULATORY

Ofcom Publishes Annual Monitoring Report On Openreach Independence

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By Emmanuel Oluebube, Correspondent UK

Ofcom has published its annual monitoring report on the progress towards delivering a more independent Openreach.

In 2017, BT notified Ofcom of its voluntary commitments to reform Openreach. This included Openreach becoming a legally separate entity with its own board, management and staff. In 2018 BT notified Ofcom that the steps to fully implement legal separation had been completed and we have been monitoring how the arrangements have been working in practice closely.

The regulator has published its annual monitoring report on those arrangements and overall it has found the parties are making good progress. BT has increased its full fibre ambitions since its last report, while Openreach continues to build new connections at pace. Generally, the feedback it received from industry during its monitoring suggests Openreach is also improving its engagement with its wholesale customers.

However, Ofcom recognises some stakeholders would like to see further improvements including in areas such as duct and poles access.

“It’s important both BT and Openreach continue their commitment to ensure further progress is made and that these improvements are sustainable over the long term. We will continue monitoring the arrangements carefully and welcome evidence from stakeholders on their experiences of working with BT and Openreach,” Ofcom said.

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