Ofcom to Set up New Openreach Monitoring Unit -Update

By Ian WalkerFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

(Adds Openreach comment).

LONDON-- The U.K. Office of Communications said Thursday it is setting up a new dedicated Openreach monitoring unit to assess whether new governance rules are being observed, and whether Openreach is acting more independently of BT.

Continue Reading Below

The move is part of a plan to ensure Openreach, BT Group PLC's (BT.A.LN) network unit, meets certain requirements and is accountable for its actions once it becomes legally separated from BT.

"Ofcom will closely monitor BT's compliance with its new commitments, and how effectively Openreach serves the whole industry. We will measure how far Openreach is improving its network and helping to deliver better quality of service," the regulator said.

It added that if the new Openreach wasn't working, or BT was failing to comply with its commitments, Ofcom would revisit the model and consider new measures to address any concerns.

"We support Ofcom's statement and we're getting on with the job of creating a more independent Openreach," a spokesperson for Openreach said.

"There are still some preconditions that need to be met before Openreach is fully incorporated, but we're acting like Openreach Limited already," the spokesperson added.

BT agreed in March to separate Openreach into a distinct company with its own staff, management and strategy, and a legal purpose to serve all its customers equally.

-Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com; @IanWalk40289749

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 13, 2017 13:19 ET (17:19 GMT)