BT’s engineering division becomes Openreach NI

Openreach becomes a separate standalone business
Openreach becomes a separate standalone business

Thousands of BT workers will transfer to infrastructure arm Openreach on Monday, completing a “major milestone” in creating the separate business.

The transfer of 31,000 workers, including fibre broadband engineers, is believed to be the biggest one-off transfer of employees in UK corporate history.

Openreach chairman Mike McTighe said: “This is an important day for Openreach as we’re fulfilling the commitments to Ofcom under the Digital Communications Review.

“We’re determined to continue improving customer service, collaborating closely with our customers, and spearheading the national rollout of next generation broadband networks.”

BT Group chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “Our teams have been working hard over the last 18 months to ensure that Openreach is operating with greater strategic independence and in collaboration with customers, and the transfer of 31,000 people over to Openreach marks the final official step towards the creation of a legally separate company.

“This is an ongoing process, and success requires continued commitment to the right behaviours, as well as transparency on how the arrangements are working in practice.

“We are committed to working with the regulator and industry to ensure customers up and down the country get the connectivity and customer service they deserve.”

Mairead Meyer, MD of Openreach Northern Ireland said: “This is an exciting and significant day for Northern Ireland Networks and I’ve been talking to my 750-strong team about the great opportunity this gives us.

“The decision to move our reporting line into Openreach is a logical one, and we’ll be working together to achieve our shared vision of driving the country’s digital future.”