We’re disappointed to be criticised, having invested more than £1bn a year in infrastructure when the UK was emerging from recession and rival companies invested little. As the report acknowledges BT’s investment has made the UK a broadband leader among the major economies in Europe.
Openreach investment is 30 percent higher than it was two years ago and it will grow again this year. We’re already pumping in hundreds of millions of pounds of extra money and we’ve committed to invest a further six billion pounds over the next three years.
We agree that service levels have to improve and yesterday we announced that we’re making significant progress in this area. We’re hitting all of Ofcom’s service targets and we’re determined to exceed them given customer expectations are rising all the time. Thousands of engineers have been recruited and we’re fixing repairs and installing new lines quicker than before.
We are in discussions with Ofcom about increasing the autonomy of Openreach and we’re hopeful that a settlement is possible that will meet the concerns of the committee.
Separating Openreach from BT would lead to less investment, not more, and would fatally undermine the aims of the committee.