BT names Openretch 'Famous Five' prefects

Jolly good show

BT has named the five people charged with ensuring that the UK's dominant fixed line telco provides the industry with equal access to its network.

Their job will be to key to ensuring that BT abides by the 230 legally-binding undertakings it has given Ofcom to help foster greater competition in the UK's telecoms sector.

In September, BT agreed to "substantive structural, product and governance changes, affecting both its current and future networks".

Central to that was the creation of a new access services division within BT called Openreach to ensure that all telcos get equal access to BT's network.

Ofcom is confident that Openwrench - which will provide access to the local loop - will allow "all communications providers to gain real equality of access to critical BT infrastructure on fair and equal terms".

To ensure that BT plays fair and doesn't engage in any corporate naughtiness, the work of Openretch is to be overseen and scrutinised by an independent body called the Equality of Access Board (EAB).

Today, BT named the five people that would make up that board. It includes former director general of former telecoms regulator, Sir Bryan Carsberg and Stephen Pettit, a non exec director of National Grid plc.

This "famous five" will meet formally between six and ten times in Openstench's first year, monitoring the progress of BT's new division and reporting its findings to BT execs.

The EAB's job will be to ensure that BT is complying with its undertakings and to report any failures. ®

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