In 2017 BT provided Ofcom and industry with a set of voluntary Commitments to address Ofcom’s competition concerns at the time, giving Openreach greater strategic and operational independence from BT. The Commitments made Openreach a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT operating within the BT Group Strategic Framework – with its own staff, management, purpose and strategy.

The Commitments increase opportunities for other Communication Providers to co-invest with Openreach and deliver better broadband services for the UK, and they contribute to strengthening the UK’s digital economy.

To support colleagues in BT and Openreach who are working across both organisations, BT has developed and published a number of governance and guidance documents. These also help Ofcom, Communication Providers and other stakeholders understand how we do business. The documents include Guidance Notes focused on processes involving both Openreach and BT work, and covering, for example, legal, policy and commercial processes.

Guidance notes

Our Commitments are designed to strike a balance between greater strategic and operational independence of Openreach while allowing BT appropriate oversight to meet our duty to our shareholders as well as our legal, financial and regulatory obligations. 
Since we made our Commitments to Ofcom in March 2017, BT and Openreach have been working hard to ensure that our processes and culture reflect  appropriate separation between BT and Openreach. As part of this programme we’ve developed a set of internal Guidance Notes, set out below, to make sure our people know and understand how the Commitments apply to key processes within the business.