UK INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER BT has promised an overhaul to its Openreach division, no doubt in a bid to keep its rivals off its back.
At an event attended by The INQUIRER's sister site V3, BT Openreach chief executive Joe Garner said the firm is planning to speed up installations and fault fixes, a move that will also see the debut of a new 'View My Engineer' tracking service.
"Customers can receive text updates on progress of the engineers and the name and mobile number of the engineer," Garner explained.
Garner said BT is also looking into the potential for customers to contact Openreach directly, rather than via their internet provider.
"We are a wholesaler, not a retailer, so we don't have a direct sales relationship with customers but I understand the frustration. We will be consulting on this."
Of course, Garner thinks this will work best if BT and Openreach remain one company, despite calls from rivals Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone for the outfit to be split into two due to its "detrimental effect" on the UK broadband market.
"Our open access enables any communication provider [to offer services] and has helped to give Britain the fastest, most extensive and affordable broadband connectivity in Europe," Garner said.
A shake-up of its Openreach business isn't all BT has planned, having today announced that it wants to provide a new broadband speed minimum of 5-10Mbps for the entire UK population.
BT CEO Gavin Petterson said: "The prosperity of the nation depends on strong digital communications.
"Our pledge to government is that we stand ready to deliver this [5-10Mbps] so that every home can enjoy the most popular internet services such as iPlayer and YouTube, in high-definition."
BT says it won't be able to do this alone, and is calling for the both the government and Ofcom to get behind it.
"I think the debate is still ongoing on what the right number is [for a minimum speed]. Government set out in spring they were looking at 5Mbps, but we know in consultation with Ofcom that 10Mbps is the number they think is right. We’re happy to work to both and hope it begins to crystalise in the future,” he said.
BT also said it plans to ensure that one million properties have access to speeds of between 300Mbps and 1Gbps by 2020. µ
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