A new name to become familiar with 'openreach'
BT has today revealed its latest multi-billion pound business unit, openreach. This business unit which will be operational from January 2006, and is charged with ensuring all service providers have transparent and equal access to the local BT network. The BT Press Release can be found here, and the Ofcom news release announcing the undertakings by BT can be found here. Interestingly it seems BT Northern Ireland is not affected by this restructuring.
The openreach unit will have its own distinctive branding, with a re-spray of 22,000 vans, an example can be seen on the BBC News website. The BT local network that openreach will maintain consists of 120,000,000 kilometres of copper local loop, connecting around 30,000,000 customers. 11,000 homes and businesses are visited every day at present, meaning 3.6 million visits per year for repairs, upgrades, installation of new lines.
openreach will have around 30,000 staff, and be headed by Steve Robertson. The staff will largely come from within BT Wholesale and BT Retail. The unit will also have its performance closely monitored by the Equality of Access Board (EAB).