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BT unveils new access business

Openreach, Overreach, Ovenready etc

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BT has released details of its new network division which will provide equal access to its phone network. BT Openreach, as it's called, will employ 30,000 people including 25,000 engineers and comes into operation in January 2006.

In a bid to keep it separate from the rest of BT it will also have its own HQ and brand identity.

Once set up, Openretch will have assets of around £8bn and revenues of more than £4bn making it "comparable in size to some FTSE 100 companies". Said BT Overreach boss Steve Robertson in a statement: "The local BT network is one of the UK's most important assets and my role is to ensure everyone has equal access to it."

The creation of BT Ovenready is part of a regulatory settlement with Ofcom. By avoiding the threat of being broken up, BT has instead agreed to "substantive structural, product and governance changes, affecting both its current and future networks". ®

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