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Openreach chairman: We need to do more to rebuild trust

Thursday, February 2nd 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Openreach’s chairman has admitted the company hasn’t always delivered the standard of service that customers expect.

Mike McTighe also praised the amount progress made in the past 12 months but said more was needed in order to “rebuild trust and credibility”.

He was speaking as Openreach announced the appointment of two new independent board members yesterday.

The creation of a new board with a majority of independent, non-executive members forms part of Ofcom’s plans to make Openreach a “legally separate company” within the BT group.

Mr McTighe was appointed chairman in December and was joined at the inaugural Openreach board meeting by new members Sir Brendan Barber and Edward Astle.

Mr Barber is a former general secretary of the Trades Union Congress and the current chair of Acas. Mr Astle has served on the boards of both National Grid and Cable and Wireless.

Openreach CEO Clive Selley and chief finance officer Clare Sadlier will also join the board along with BT group finance director Simon Lowth.

A fourth independent non-executive is due to be announced soon.

Mr McTighe said: “Openreach’s network and connectivity underpins Britain’s digital economy and we know that our customers have very high expectations of us.

“I understand that customers sometimes feel let down by Openreach because we haven’t always delivered the service they expect or that we hope to provide.

“We have made a lot of progress since Clive Selley joined as CEO a year ago – for example on halving the number of missed appointments, making our fibre network available to millions more people and accelerating our plan to introduce a new generation of ultrafast technology.

“But we need to do more to rebuild trust and credibility. This will be the board’s focus and we are currently in consultation with BT Group about agreeing the plan to deliver better service, broader coverage and faster speeds for consumers and businesses across the country.

“We are determined to meet our customers’ expectations and to strengthen the autonomy, governance and transparency of Openreach to facilitate the delivery of better outcomes for everyone who has a stake in our business.”

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