Cable.co.uk comments on BT fails to cooperate voluntarily with Ofcom requirement to separate Openreach
- Ofcom has announced today that will be proceeding with a formal notification to enforce legal separation of Openreach and BT after BT has failed to offer voluntary proposals that address competition concerns
- Ofcom 'disappointed' with BT, says 'some progress has been made, but this has not been enough'
- Ofcom nevertheless 'remains open' to BT and 'bridging the gap between its proposal and what is required to address our strong competition concerns'
- Commenting on the data, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at broadband comparison site Cable.co.uk, said: That Ofcom has had to speak out of its 'frustration' suggests to me there is more to this delay than bureaucracy and red tape"
Tuesday 29 November 2016: Today, Ofcom, venting its frustration at not having received a voluntary proposal from BT to implement the legal separation of BT and Openreach, has announced that it is preparing to notify the European Commission of its intentions.
Openreach is the division of BT that develops and maintains most of the UK's broadband infrastructure (Not including Virgin Media, which runs its own network), but used by providers such as Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Plusnet, many smaller providers and of course BT itself.
Ofcom's proposal for BT and Openreach to become distinct companies – though still to remain within BT Group – were outlined in July of this year.
Commenting on Ofcom's findings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at broadband comparison site Cable.co.uk, said:
"It's tough to read whether BT's heel-dragging is as a result of a tactic with the intention to deliberately delay and undermine the process, or whether, rather like Brexit, the process of separating Openreach is simply too vast and complex to be fully planned out in such a short period of time.
"That Ofcom has had to speak out of its 'frustration' suggests to me there is more to this delay than bureaucracy and red tape – that unwillingness to comply is also playing some part."
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Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.
An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.