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BT needs to invest more in Openreach to avoid a split

BT is under a great deal of pressure to invest more funds into Openreach after MPs and its rivals have claimed that the company is not doing enough in its nationwide rollout of broadband.

MPs have been strict with their criticism of the way BT's Openreach has handled its operations, going so far as to say that the firm must put its “house in order.”

The Culture, Media and Sports committee released a new report that found that the firm was heavily under-investing in Openreach by hundreds of millions of pounds a year. BT was quick to reject the allegation but has agreed that its customer service could certainly be improved.

When it came to its investment, BT said: “Openreach investment is 30 per cent higher than it was two years ago and it will grow again this year.” The firm also pointed out how it had invested over £1 billion into the UK's infrastructure at a time when rival companies were contributing little as the recession had recently ended.

BT has made a commitment to invest an additional £6 billion over the course of the next three years. Hopefully the firm is able to do so because if not MPs have made it clear that drastic action will be needed and that a full separation of BT and Openreach is something they fully support.

BT is also in talks with Ofcom about “increasing the autonomy” of Openreach which would satisfy many who think the two are tied too closely together. The firm has also announced that it will be improving how customers get in touch with an Openreach engineer to repair or install broadband.

Image Credit: Chrisdorney / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.