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A Battle Over Structural Separation of Broadband in the United Kingdom

Broadband Breakfast Staff



Broadband Breakfast Insight: Unlike the United States, the UK has a system of “structural separations” – at least in theory – where the provider of the wholesale networks (Openreach) is to be separated from its sister-provider of retail broadband services (BT). This article recounts some of the controversies that have now come to a head.

Ofcom and BT urged to settle Openreach dispute to avoid rural broadband delays, from The Telegraph

The Government is pushing for a swift end to the stand-off between BT and Ofcom over the future of Britain’s internet infrastructure, urging the two sides to make a deal before the EU becomes involved.

It is understood that ministers have expressed growing frustration in meetings with the company, investors and the regulator at the failure to agree a new structure for Openreach, the BT network unit.

The discussions have dragged on for two years, with vital issues of independence still unresolved. Now time is running out, with Ofcom preparing to make a formal application to the European Commission for the right to impose its favoured reforms on BT as soon as next month.

According to sources close to the discussions, ministers have urged Sharon White, the chief executive of Ofcom, to seek a compromise to avoid years of legal wrangling that could hold up crucial improvements to broadband.

Source: Ofcom and BT urged to settle Openreach dispute to avoid rural broadband delays


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