Openreach admits that it hasn’t provided service expected of it


Chairman agrees with the severe criticism and understands why customers feel let down

Openreach has admitted it has let its customers down by not delivering the service expected of the company.

The admission was made by Openreach chairman Mike McTighe at the beginning of this month (February 1) following severe criticisms from Ofcom and major rivals that it has been working too much in favour of BT.

It comes after a new board, headed by McTighe, was created shortly after Ofcom ordered the separation of BT and Openreach in July. The decision was driven by claims BT had failed to address competition concerns over the independence of the pair.

To address the issues, members of the board must be independent of BT and Openreach. It is responsible for determining Openreach’s strategy and overseeing its performance, while making sure it treats customers fairly and invests in better service, wider coverage and faster broadband speeds throughout the UK. All of its appointments are discussed with Ofcom.

Great expectations

McTighe said: “Openreach’s network and connectivity underpins Britain’s digital economy and we know that our customers have very high expectations of us.

“I understand that customers sometimes feel let down by Openreach because we haven’t always delivered the service they expect or that we hope to provide. We have made a lot of progress since Clive Selley joined as CEO a year ago – for example on halving the number of missed appointments, making our fibre network available to millions more people and accelerating our plan to introduce a new generation of ultrafast technology.

“But we need to do more to re-build trust and credibility. This will be the Board’s focus and we are currently in consultation with BT Group about agreeing the plan to deliver better service, broader coverage and faster speeds for consumers and businesses across the country.”

New board members

Two new members were already appointed to the board. First of the two new members is Sir Brendan Barber who was previously the Trades Union Congress general secretary. Edward Astle, a former National Grid board member, is the second to join. He was also previously Cable and Wireless global business executive director between 1989 and 1997.  Another member is due to be announced who will specifically focus on how Openreach handles customer service.