Vodafone calls for BT and Openreach split

Vodafone calls for BT and Openreach split

Vodafone has called for the break-up of BT, adding to the increasing number of operators rallying for the split, ahead of a regulatory review of the UK telecoms industry.

In its submission to Ofcom, Vodafone noted that BT generated £6.5 billion in excessive profits over the last 10 years with its Openreach division. It added that these profits have given BT an advantage over rivals which also provide broadband services. 

Calling for BT to be split entirely from Openreach, Vodafone said the move would create a standalone infrastructure business that would be incentivised to provide the best broadband networks for retail internet providers. 

“We want to see a separate Openreach whose business is selling network connectivity and access for all,” Matthew Braovac, head of regulatory affairs at Vodafone told the Financial Times. Braovac noted that access to national fixed-line networks in countries such as Spain was easier and more affordable, resulting to lower costs for consumers and faster repairs.

Sky and TalkTalk have also called for the split and will make similar submissions to Ofcom for BT to be separated from the unit. The regulator has said that a full separation of BT is being considered. 

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is expected to close its consultation into the market on Thursday. 

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