Feeds

BT cuts ribbon on new Openreach biz

Warm white wine and canapes all round

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The great and the good of the UK's telco sector are converging on central London to celebrate the formal launch of BT's network access business, Openreach.

Speaking today, Steve Robertson, Openreach's chief exec, said: "The big day has arrived. The whole Openreach team is utterly committed to providing Britain's communication providers with equivalent access to the local access network and to serving all our customers in the same even-handed way.

"This is an exciting time for the telecoms industry and Openreach has a vital role to play in making sure that Britain's consumers and businesses have access to the most innovative and competitive communications market in the world. We're ready to do our bit."

Robertson might not be able to contain his enthusiasm for this new venture, but there are plenty of those in the industry who are still not convinced. And BT would do well to remember why it has been forced to splash out £70m creating this new division. For Openretch - as it's known - forms part of a regulatory deal with Ofcom to ensure that rival telcos and operators get transparent and equal access to BT's phone network.

Operators have long complained that the UK's dominant fixed-line telco has stifled competition, failed to develop new services fast enough and given preferential treatment to its own businesses.

In a bid to increase competition, the regulator struck a deal with BT comprising 230 "legally binding undertakings", with the monster telco promising never again to engage in the kind of behaviour that "restricts competition" and "discriminates" against its competitors.

The deal - which Ofcom reckons will encourage investment in infrastructure by other operators and promote innovation, while also leading to greater competition, lower prices and improved services - meant BT was spared an investigation that could have led to the break-up of the dominant telco.

Key to the deal was the creation of an access services division within BT - Openreach.

Ofcom is confident the new separate division - which will provide access to the local loop and be overseen by an independent body - will allow "all communications providers to gain real equality of access to critical BT infrastructure on fair and equal terms".

However, critics remain cautious and have called on regulator Ofcom to keep a close eye on BT and Openreach.

A spokeswoman for telecoms trade group UKCTA, which represents a number of firms including AOL, Cable & Wireless, EasyNet and Thus, told us: "Openreach is still in the implementation phase and has yet to be proven." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.