Ofcom finally reached a deal to ensure Openreach became independent of BT after many months of talks. Openreach was the business stream behind BT installing and managing our broadband lines. Competitors have long been complaining that it made the market a monopoly by giving all power across to BT and that BT gave preferential treatment to its existing customers not the ones of Sky broadband or Virgin who leased the capabilities.
Ofcom and BT have now legally formed a plan to separate the two, but BT will still own Openreach and set its budget. They have stated hover that they will drop the BT branding and that all staff and management will be controlled by Ofcom. The deal prevents a complete separation, for now at least and opens up the market for others. You won’t notice any immediate change because the deal won’t come into place until later this year.
What Does The Deal Mean For You?
If you are an existing BT customer, BT will still be your supplier so there will literally be no change. The biggest difference will be in how Openreach deals with other customers and will increase competition in rolling out fibre networks across the country. BT have taken too long to roll out fibre, especially in rural areas. If you’re yet to be on fibre then this is all very good news indeed. There are a lot of places where half a town has fibre and the other half does not because the roll out team have hit their targets for the area and moved on elsewhere leaving many still on the basic broadband lines.
It does also mean, that if you’re not happy with BT you could start to look around as no longer would you be solely reliant on BT fixing the hardware behind you broadband. Our advice though is to sit tight and see how this plays out as there could be a number of changes yet to come.