BT launches Openreach

By Derek Sooman on January 11, 2006, 6:08 PM
BT has launched its network access business, Openreach. According to the company, Openreach will play a key role in enabling BT customers to get access to the most innovative and competitive communications market in the world.

Operators have long complained that the UK's dominant fixed-line telco has stifled competition, failed to develop new services fast enough and given preferential treatment to its own businesses.

In a bid to increase competition, the regulator struck a deal with BT comprising 230 "legally binding undertakings", with the monster telco promising never again to engage in the kind of behaviour that "restricts competition" and "discriminates" against its competitors.

The deal - which Ofcom reckons will encourage investment in infrastructure by other operators and promote innovation, while also leading to greater competition, lower prices and improved services - meant BT was spared an investigation that could have led to the break-up of the dominant telco.

Key to the deal was the creation of an access services division within BT - Openreach.

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