MPs tell BT to ‘put house in order’ over Openreach

BT has pledged �6bn over the next three years to avoid a forced split
BT has pledged �6bn over the next three years to avoid a forced split

BT must “put its house in order” or face a break-up after failing to invest in its Openreach network arm potentially to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds a year, MPs have warned.

A scathing report from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee claimed BT has “significantly under-invested” in Openreach, which is responsible for rolling out super-fast broadband across the UK.

It accused BT of making strategic decisions that put the group’s interests ahead of customers and its Openreach business.

MPs warned if it does not ramp up investment in Openreach and address poor service, Ofcom should force BT to split off the division.

Ofcom stopped short of forcing a full separation of BT earlier this year, but said the group must give the division more independence to avoid a break-up in the future.

BT - which now owns mobile phone group EE - has since pledged to spend £6 billion over the next three years and overhaul customer service to see off the threat of a forced split.

MPs said on publishing their report that while they supported Ofcom’s proposals, BT should be broken up if it fails to “offer the reforms and investment assurances necessary to satisfy our concerns”.