Belfast Telegraph

Why split of BT and Openreach is great news for sector

By Scott Ritchie, director at Connect Telecom

The sigh of relief from independent telecoms providers must have been heard across the whole of the UK last week as BT eventually bowed to Ofcom's demand to legally separate Openreach.

The separation is a significant milestone in telecoms history, reducing the predominant power held in telecoms operations by BT, which for years has hampered the growth of independent providers.

The legal disentanglement of BT from Openreach will certify a better service for consumers of broadband, TV as well as fixed line phones, with improved access in rural economies across Northern Ireland and Scotland, who have seen a lack of funding by BT due to its city-focused agenda. With the change, we will start to see a more level playing field in the country's digital infrastructure and customer equality across the country, city or hamlet.

What does this mean for you?

Openreach, in maintaining the UK's main telecoms network, manages the tens of millions of copper and fibre lines that run from telephone exchanges to homes and businesses throughout the UK.

Any investments or negotiations required sign-off from BT, and if they didn't follow its strategic development, they didn't become a priority. Even if these were to provide solutions to reported problems.

This led to issues for telecoms providers, their customers and too many negative responses on social media to mention.

The company will now be "obliged" to consult with clients like Sky, TalkTalk, and Vodafone about major investments.

Vodafone has made calls for this split over the past number of years to ensure its customers are given fair service across the UK telecoms network.

The split should provide much greater control for Vodafone, the UK's number one network, across its landline, VoIP and broadband services.

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Belfast Telegraph