It seems as the stalemate between Ofcom and BT over its subsidiary Openreach is coming to an end, as Ofcom’s chief executive Sharon White says there are four different paths the problem can take.
According to a BBC report, structural separation was one of the options, as well as maintaining status quo, more deregulation and making the existing system “more fit to purpose”.
Status quo was described as “unlikely” by the CEO.
The “structural separation” would see Openreach spun out more fully from BT, and adjusting the existing service would mean improving services, repairs, and laying new superfast lines.
“I think there will be change,” she told BBC’s tech correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones. “We’re looking at a number of options, but I think it is very unlikely we will conclude that the status quo which has worked over the last 10 years is where we are likely to be over the next decade.”
The struggle for Openreach has been making headlines for quite some time now. BT, which is responsible for connecting almost all households to the network regardless of their service provider, has been criticised for not investing enough in Openreach. Critics want it sold.
BT, on the other hand, says splitting off the Openreach division would be a “mistake”, saying only a company the size of BT can ensure future delivery.
“We believe the current model works extremely well but there is always room for improvement and for deregulation given the UK market is now far more competitive than it was a decade ago,” said a BT spokesperson.