BT transfers 31,000 staff to Openreach in ‘final major milestone’ of separation
BT today confirmed it had transferred 31,000 employees to infrastructure arm Openreach in what it says is the "final major milestone" in the legal separation of the two organisations.
The move is believed to be the largest ever one-off people transfer in UK corporate history.
BT also announced its Northern Ireland division has been rebranded as Openreach Northern Ireland.
Openreach was set up in 2006 as the infrastructure division of BT, but in March last year, telco regulator Ofcom told the company to make the firm legally separate so rival operators had equal access to the national network.
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Mike McTighe, Openreach chairman, said today was an important day for the company, adding that it now had its own board, greater strategic and operational independence and an independent workforce.
"We've set out a clear plan to invest in new, more reliable, future-proof broadband technology, and we’re right in the middle of our largest ever recruitment drive for 3,500 engineers – so it’s an exciting time to be part of Openreach," he said.
"We're determined to continue improving customer service, collaborating closely with our customers, and spearheading the national rollout of next generation broadband networks."
It follows Ofcom saying in June that Openreach was making positive progress on implementing the recommendations in the Digital Communications Review, which first told BT Openreach needed to be spun off.
Openreach is currently in the process of investing heavily in faster full-fibre broadband, and is planning to roll-out the infrastructure to 3m households by the end of 2020.
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