British telecoms giant BT Group has agreed to legally separate its broadband unit Openreach to remedy concerns over competition in the sector, the company announced Friday.
Created by BT in 2005, Openreach maintains tens of millions of copper and fibre lines connecting telephone exchanges to homes and businesses across the UK.
However rivals, including Sky and Vodafone, argued that the existing set-up gave BT a competitive advantage — and the UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom agreed, forcing BT into the changes announced Friday.
As a result, about 32,000 employees will transfer to the new Openreach Limited in “one of the largest such transfers in UK corporate history”, BT said in a statement.
“BT and Ofcom have reached agreement on a long-term regulatory settlement that will see Openreach become a distinct, legally separate company with its own board, within the BT Group,” the statement added.
Full Content: ARS Technica UK
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