Openreach kicks off 'rebrand' by painting over BT logo on vans

Full transition to take four years

Openreach has finally started removing BT's logo from its 22,000 vans, "unveiling its new branding" four months after the former UK state monopoly agreed to a legal separation of its broadband division.

The changes will begin this month and continue over the next four years on all vehicles, customer-facing websites and apps, stationery, employee workwear and passcards, buildings and signs.

The rebranding includes a purple logo with "fibre-like" light threads breaking up the solid colour.

Openreach employs 30,400 people and said it was rolling out the "rebrand" at a pace that would allow it "to reduce costs and minimise the impact to our customers".

The changes "signal our revised governance and independent board, Openreach will start to remove the 'BT' element from its logo. The move reaffirms our commitment to treating all communications provider customers equally," it said.

The move follows the Digital Communications Review in March 2017, under which Openreach will be independently governed to ensure the business makes investment decisions that are primarily in the interest of the market rather than BT. However, its profits will still "flow back" toward the former state monopoly, with BT in ultimate control of its budget.

In a letter to its 580 providers, Openreach chief exec Clive Selley said the business has also begun changing the way it engages with communications providers "by introducing a confidential phase to its discussions on significant investments and major strategic developments".

"Today, we're making a further small but symbolic step, by launching our own distinct brand," he said.

"We're removing the 'BT' element from the Openreach logo. This is a visual sign to reflect how we deal with everyone on equal terms. We are committed to delivering the highest standards to everyone and we're doing this well ahead of Ofcom's timeframe as we feel the rebrand is an important step in building trust with you and our stakeholders.

"As you'll see from the new imagery and About Openreach video this isn't an expensive or extravagant rebrand. It's a simple and pragmatic step which will allow us to continue to focus on our business."

Selley has indicated Openreach wants to take a more collaborative approach following its legal separation from BT – and may also increase its current fibre-to-the-premise goals. ®

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