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BT Openreach separation agreed but still part of BT Group March 10, 2017

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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This morning it was announced that BT and Ofcom have reached agreement on a long-term regulatory settlement that will see Openreach become a distinct, legally separate company with its own Board. However, the new entity will still report to the BT Group and ultimately the BT CEO Gavin Patterson.

The new company, Openreach Ltd, will have its own separate logo without BT and report to an independent board. It will also transfer over 32,000 employees to the new company however their pension rights etc. will be upheld.

The BT Announcement stated:

“This Board will set Openreach’s medium term and annual operating plans and determine which technologies are deployed, within a strategic and financial framework defined by BT. Openreach will be free to explore alternative co-investment models in private with third parties.

The Openreach CEO will report into the Openreach Chairman, with accountability to the BT Group Chief Executive with regards to certain legal and fiduciary duties that are consistent with BT’s responsibilities as a listed company.”

The question will be exactly what does this mean in terms of independence, and what benefits it will bring. TalkTalk responded favourably in a statement this morning but did reinforce that Ofcom’s job is not over yet.

Dido Harding, Chief Executive Officer, TalkTalk commented:

“We welcome the agreement to create a legally separate Openreach. The new company will be better placed to deliver the improved investment and service that consumers and businesses deserve. This deal will require robust Ofcom monitoring and enforcement to ensure it delivers the improvements the regulator expects. We hope this is the start of a new deal for Britain’s broadband customers, who will be keen to see a clear timetable from Openreach setting out when their services will improve.” 

In essence, this seem a very positive move and we hope it brings what BT Gavin Patterson stated:

“I believe this agreement will serve the long-term interests of millions of UK households, businesses and service providers that rely on our infrastructure. It will also end a period of uncertainty for our people and support further investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure. 





4G access set to enable businesses around the UK to access VoIP services October 9, 2013

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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The panel discussion at the convergence summit on the opportunities that 4G will bring business in the UK was well received by the audience with Trefor Davies of Timico, Robert Hayward of MLL Telecom, Simon Fort of Nine Group and Alexis Argent of 4Gon Solutions bringing some interesting debate to the table.

One of the key facts that came out of it was that 4G is still prohibited by the lack of coverage in locations where it could bring serious business gains. Companies such as O2 face problems in inner cities and high-density building areas as the allocated 800mhz spectrum does not work as well as it could in these types of location.

As there are only about 450,000 4G subscribers, the potential of 4G is still to be realized. The panel pointed to the fact that 4G will give those in rural areas without fibre access to high speed broadband which will benefit those looking to install a Hosted solution. However the reality of national 4G will not be realized in the next year or two. A member of the audience raised an interesting question, asking whether 4G will reduce the opportunity to sell fixed access to companies, the panel answer was a resounding no although some people thought that it would reduce the opportunities in some applications of fixed access.  Cavell “illumes” parent company has been working a lot in emerging markets in Middle East and Africa where we are seeing 4G have a big effect on fixed access market, and we recently wrote a blog piece about this effect. http://cavellvoice.com/2013/09/19/capacity-africa-show-cooperation-is-crucial-to-the-growth-of-broadband-in-africa/

The panel also pointed to the benefits of having a 4G connection as a backup to a fixed access broadband. If a fixed line goes down, having the potential to move to a 4G connection to deliver voice and data is something that wouldn’t have been able to be done over a 3G connection. 

With 94% of the audience believing that 4G will become a sales opportunity for Hosted providers it is clear that many people are seeing the rollout of 4G as a chance to take advantage of the high speeds and mobility that 4G will give them.