Business

BT says Openreach can have investment powers and board

Openreach van

BT Group will form a separate board for its Openreach business in a bid to persuade its regulator the company should not be broken up.

BT chairman Sir Mike Rake told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Openreach would also be handed more power to make investment decisions.

Competitors have accused BT of not investing enough in Openreach, which runs its phone and broadband network.

Ofcom will report on Tuesday on how Openreach ought to be run.

Sir Mike said: "We are absolutely willing to form an Openreach board, that will have an independent chairman and a majority of independent directors."

'Faster broadband'

When asked about the company's customer service record, he said, "Our customer service is not good enough yet," but that improvements, including bringing more customer service to the UK, were in progress.

In May, BT outlined plans to invest £6bn over the next three years in faster broadband and mobile services.

It plans to offer what it describes as "ultra-fast" broadband to 12 million premises by 2020, as well as improving coverage of faster 4G mobile services.

However, Sky said the plan had "limited ambition" and called for BT to invest in the UK's broadband fibre network.

Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk have all suggested Openreach should be separated from BT.

On average, UK households received speeds of 29Mbps last year, according to regulator Ofcom.

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