Our Chairman, Mike McTighe, has responded to comments from Nick Jeffrey, chief executive of Vodafone, recently published in The Times. Mike highlighted the substantial progress that Openreach had already made ahead of OFCOM deadlines, and called for the industry to work together to maintain the UK’s position as a leading digital economy. He also reiterated that Openreach is focused on delivering better service, broader coverage and faster speeds, rather than industry discussion in the press. Read the full version of Mike’s letter below, a version of which appeared in The Times on Saturday 21 October.
The chief executive of Vodafone UK says “little progress” has been made since March to separate Openreach from BT. I disagree.
The reality is that we’re well ahead of our commitments to Ofcom and we’re relentlessly keeping up the pace of progress.
Having established an independent board in January, we’ve made fundamental changes to the way Openreach is governed, how it’s branded, and how it operates – including the way it discusses confidential issues with wholesale customers like Vodafone.
We’ve also made great strides on improving service – reducing faults and connecting new customers faster, but it goes without saying that we must do more to build trust with the industry.
This is only the first chapter. We will soon be incorporating Openreach Limited, ahead of Ofcom’s deadline, and I’ve been encouraged by the desire of many customers to work openly and collaboratively with us in the interests of driving Britain’s digital future.
Maintaining the UK’s position as the leading digital economy in the G20 will need ingenuity, flexibility and, above all, teamwork. So it’s time the industry stopped navel gazing and squabbling in the press – it’s not helpful and it reflects terribly on everyone involved.
Instead we should be focussing on working together to deliver better service, broader coverage and faster speeds for our customers across Britain. I can assure you that Openreach is absolutely focussed on doing just that.