Hancock concerned over slow pace of Openreach-BT legal separation

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock has expressed concern about the time it is taking BT Group to implement the legal separation of Openreach and has called for an acceleration of the process, hinting that more pressure could be applied by Ofcom and the Government if they are not satisfied with the rate of progress.

"The test of the success of the legal separation will be twofold," he stated.

"First, significantly increased investment by BT Group, through Openreach in the country's full fibre digital infrastructure.

"And second, Openreach becoming more responsive to its industry customers, both by entering into new arrangements with customers other than BT group, and being proactive and enthusiastic on working with others on the ground, for example opening up access to ducts and poles.

"Like Ofcom, we want Openreach to provide better access to data on its duct and poles so competitors can plan new networks.

"While I welcome the work Openreach are doing to reposition themselves, I am concerned at the speed BT Group are moving in formally implementing the agreed split.

"Unless we make significant progress very soon we will have to talk to Ofcom about what would be needed to make this happen."

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