BT has been told by MPs it must ‘invest significantly’ in the business responsible for most of the country’s broadband roll-out – or split it off. They said that the quality of service offered by BT’s Openreach subsidiary ‘remains poor’. The MPs added that the ‘shortfall in investment’ could run into hundreds of millions of pounds a year. The report by MPs on the Culture Media and Sport Committee accuses BT of making decisions that favoured its own ‘priorities and interests’. The Committee is ‘demanding’ that BT pump significantly more money into Openreach. If BT does not comply, then they supporting the idea of splitting Openreach from BT.

BT rejected the allegation that it had under-invested, but agreed that customer service needed to be improved. BT is keen to prove that it is working on these issues and has announced improvements in the time it takes customers to get an appointment for an Openreach engineer to repair or install broadband.

Rival companies have long called for a split between BT and its Openreach operation, which runs its cables, fibre and network infrastructure. Companies such as Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk, who pay to use the network, have claimed in the past that BT underinvested in Openreach, leading to a poor service with interruptions and slow speeds. (19th July 2016)