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Ex-competition watchdog and TalkTalk adviser calls for Openreach split from BT

Says telecoms giant needs to 'wake up' and accept divorce

Another day, and another person steps forward to add their voice to the chorus of people demanding that BT breaks away from its Openreach division.

This time, it's ex-Office of Fair Trading head John Fingleton who has been whinging about BT's powerful position in the broadband market in Blighty.

As noted by the Financial Times – which reported on the former regulator's speech to think tank Reform – Fingleton just so happens to be an adviser to BT rival TalkTalk.

The budget telco, when not wrangling with the fallout of the security breach on its systems, has been one of the most vocal competitors to knock BT and demand Ofcom divorce the telecoms giant from Openreach.

Earlier this week, TalkTalk boss Dido Harding griped during a conference call about her company's first-half results that BT was slowing down the ISP's growth with Openreach's "lead time to connections" getting worse, she claimed.

On Thursday, Fingleton was quoted as saying: "A really easy solution for everybody would be what happened in New Zealand – for BT to wake up and work out that it's in everyone's best interests for it to voluntarily" spin-off Openreach.

The Kiwis cut loose Telecom New Zealand's infrastructure wing four years ago, according the FT.

Ofcom is currently conducting an extensive, once-in-a-decade review of Blighty's digital landscape, including mulling the growing demands for Openreach to be divorced from BT.

BT, meanwhile, still has a friend in Virgin Media. ®

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