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Openreach boss Clive Selley wants Ofcom to wrap it up already

Adam Jarvis

Given Theresa May (that's Theresa with a 'Heil Hilter' H) is now in power. Separation of BTOpenreach all comes down to whether the Investigatory Powers Bill is better implemented by having a single Telecom Company (BT) in charge of UK's backhaul infrastructure, including most of the local loop, or splitting off BTOpenreach, will hinder this.

Its never been about competition, because there isn't any. Its a faux situation, at best. (que the replies, well anyone can set up their own Telecoms company. Someone has to pay for it - Ultrafast Broadband Rollout). It won't be BT risking its capital, because they don't need to, from where they are currently sitting, now owning EE aswell.

Investigatory Powers Bill is going to be a licence to print money for BT, because Government just can't keep their noses out of the rich metadata at stake here (and ultimately, control of People's lives), why would BT voluntarily invest their own money? Better to leave Governments to be forced to.

BT can just cherry-pick rollout, as little, as much as they like, 'upto' Mbps - BT have fitted a 'precision control' to the UK's broadband pipe by opting to re-use Legacy Copper/G.Fast technologies, to effectively obfuscate, make Superfast/Ultrafast Broadband appear like a limited resource, permiting obfuscated price gouging, under regulator supervision.

As ever, BT just hold the UK to ransom by sitting on their hands, until someone stumps up the money (Taxpayers in the form of BDUK etc) to upgrade the infrastructure and every solution for that upgrade put forward by BT (and pals at Ofcom who previously worked at BT) is biased towards BT's own Legacy copper or the constrained limits of such an Legacy copper based upgrade. i.e. 'upto' 100Mbps future targets for Ultrafast, often been mentioned, even by Government Ministers. BT have Government Ministers trained. Averages are always mentioned, which always skew the figures, ignoring rural rollouts/notspots.

As far as Ofcom's role - its never seems to about changing this, getting rid of the large legacy operator sitting on their hands, because so many at Ofcom have ex-BT vested interests. Going forward - that needs to be centre stage.

If BDUK investment hadn't have happened BT would be now sitting on a network with what amounts to (more and more towards) zero voice call revenue from its subscribers (assuming mobile networks took up the slack of poor fixed line broadband). BT can't have it both ways.

Things don't look good though. You only have to look at Amber Rudd in her role as Energy Secretary, the pathetic enforcement by Ofgem over her tenure. Ofgem is even worse than Ofcom, as a regulator.

Energy Utility companies with a blantant monopoly situation, customer service levels of dire proportions, excessive call times, inaccurate billing examples - yet no real action taken. Nearly every single major supplier under investigation with little in the way of real fines. No change at all.

The idea Amber Rudd is going to sort this out (the implementation of the intricate complex Investigatory Powers Bill) and have a definitive answer regards BTOpenreach has zero chance ever happening. I believe Theresa May has deliberately chosen a weak useless candidate, so she remains in control of the Home Office, regards the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Hence, even though BTOpenreach should be split off, it won't be.

Amber Rudd is a mouthpiece of utter conjecture most of the time. She's not about to change her spots.

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