BT appoints former Ofcom board member as Openreach chairman

 
Billy Bambrough
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BT has been planning governance changes Openreach since July
BT has been planning governance changes Openreach since July (Source: Getty)

BT has appointed former Ofcom board member Mike McTighe as the first chairman of its infrastructure arm Openreach.

McTighe, who takes up his role from January, spent eight years on the board of the communications watchdog and will oversee the new Openreach board – which will operate from early 2017.

The communications regulator is currently weighing to what extent BT will have to separate Openreach after its consultation on the matter closed in October and could make a decision this week, it was earlier reported by Sky News.

Read more: BT investor calls for talks over Openreach arm

BT has promised £6bn of investment over the next three years in the UK’s broadband infrastructure once the company comes to an agreement with the watchdog.

BT announced in July it would implement governance changes to make Openreach more independent amid suggestions that it had underinvested in the UK’s broadband fibre network and gave BT preferential treatment. BT’s rivals, who rely on Openreach to service their customers, have campagined for it to be hived off from BT entirely.

The spectre of what's known as structural separation of Openreach from BT has been hanging over the company for years.

Read more: Economic think tank calls for Openreach to be carved out from BT

“I remain hopeful this significant move by BT can help to underpin a sustainable, proportionate and fair regulatory settlement that is in the interests of the whole country,” said BT chairman Mike Rake.

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