Openreach reveals next steps for BT split

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

The UK wholesale arm of BT has been ordered to separate from its parent company, but has now unveiled this process could take up to four years to fully complete

Openreach van 160x186

Openreach has revealed the next steps of its separation from BT, including new branding that is completely distinct from the BT Group, a symbolic step for the company.

The separation is part of BT’s agreement with Ofcom, struck during the UK regulator’s Digital 

Communications Review, to make its wholesale arm a legally separate entity, with an independent board.

Openreach estimates it will take up to four years for a complete rebranding of all of its assets, with the changeover due to start later this month (July, 2017) with the introduction of a new logo on a tranche of its service vans.

Over the next four years, Opereach will overhaul branding on everything, from its websites, documents and ID cards to workwear ad its 22,000-stong fleet of vans.

The company defended the long time it is expects the rebrand to take, claiming that carrying out the process will reduce costs and keep disruption for its customers, which includes the likes of Vodafone, Sky, and TalkTalk, to a minimum.

Openreach’s estimated timelines for re-branding various assets are:

July 2017 – New logo; first tranche of vans; presentation and stationery templates 

Sept 2017 – The majority of Openreach websites and customer-facing mobile apps 

Early 2018 – First tranche of workwear (after consulting with our people)

Around April 2018 – Openreach Limited established 

Around Oct 2019 – ID cards and workwear (we have 30,400 people of which 25,000 are field engineers)

Around Apr 2020 – Major buildings and signs

Around Apr 2021  –   All 22,000 van logo changes will be complete

In a letter to its clients and partners, Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: !At Openreach, our number one priority is providing a better service to our customers and to achieve that, we’re making fundamental changes to the way we work.

“I’ve been keeping you up to date with how we are implementing our Commitments following Ofcom’s Digital Communications Review in March 2017. We’re showing you, our customers, that we’re becoming more independent - an Openreach that deals with everyone on equal terms.  

“We’re implementing as many of the Commitments as we can now, ahead of Ofcom’s requirements, because we believe it’s the right thing to do.

“Today, we’re making a further small but symbolic step, by launching our own distinct brand. We’re removing the ‘BT’ element from the Openreach logo. This is a visual sign to reflect how we deal with everyone on equal terms. We are committed to delivering the highest standards to everyone and we’re doing this well ahead of Ofcom’s timeframe as we feel the re-brand is an important step in building trust with you and our stakeholders.”