BT Boss Blogs Plea to Keep Openreach

By Gary Cutlack on at

BT CEO Gavin Patterson has given the masses a lecture on the reasons why he thinks Ofcom would be mad to force it to sell or split off its Openreach infrastructure group, pointing out countries that have tried the split thing -- and failed miserably.

In his pleading essay posted on This is Money, Patterson said: "Our competitors are trying to argue that UK broadband would somehow be better if the company were forced apart from its infrastructure division, Openreach. This comes in spite of the fact that the industry model we have here has delivered the largest internet economy in the G20, comprising 10 per cent of GDP."

"That would not be so if our broadband infrastructure really was in the condition naysayers suggest. The European Union rates the UK number one for superfast broadband among its five largest members," he continues, before citing Australia and New Zealand as -- vastly different in constitution but still -- places where the service provider has been split in two yet the penetration of fibre broadband lags behind the UK.

Patterson adds that "An independent Openreach would, in all likelihood, have been discouraged" from taking part in the race to fit fibre connections to anywhere but the most profitable pockets of the UK, so he'd very much like BT to remain in control of the fleet of sparkies and vans, please. [This is Money]