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Author Topic: BT vs Openreach, same difference?  (Read 251 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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BT vs Openreach, same difference?
« on: August 29, 2019, 12:15:20 AM »

I’m aware that, for legislative purposes, Openreach have satisfied the requirements of being independent of BT.   But I wonder, how independent are they in layman’s terms, to those who are not corporate lawyers?

One source of reference is Companies House, for Openreach Ltd.

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10690039

From above one can navigate to Filing History, then Accounts.   I’m not providing a link as it looks like a privacy-compromising web beacon, but the accounts for year to 2019  state in the Strategic Report that...

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The Company does not own any assets or conduct trading, benefit from the rewards nor bear the risks of those assets and trading.   Ownership of such assets and trading and such risks and rewards has been retained by BT plc.

Follow Companies House the link to ‘People’, then ‘Persons with significant control’, there is just one person listed, named as...  “British Telecommunications Plc“.

Repeat I fully appreciate that for legal purposes, BT and Openreach are not the same, they are legally different companies.   But in casual conversation, do we really need to distinguish them?  My opinion is... No we don’t, regardless of obscure company laws, they are equivalent for practical purposes.   

Other viewpoints and opinions appreciated. :)
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 12:17:55 AM by sevenlayermuddle »
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Weaver

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Re: BT vs Openreach, same difference?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 04:02:20 AM »

I suspect I may have been guilty here, of making a worthless distinction that is, is that correct?

7lm makes an excellent point and I am very much in agreement.

I think sometimes I may talk about engineers who ‘come out to my house’, ‘are booked’. I have been wondering recently how they see the situation - are they ‘still just BT’. My thinking has been that if it happens to be the case that the distinction is important to the engineer then perhaps I ought to try and get things right.

Another case: something that is indeed a legal point though - if I get A&A to resell ‘enhanced care’ to me, then who is selling the service to them? Which links to yesterday’s thread in re this subject. Perhaps it’s just the one and only BT Plc?
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: BT vs Openreach, same difference?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 10:17:20 AM »

I wasn't suggesting any attribution of guilt, Weaver, more just trying to justify (to myself) my own bad habit of calling them both 'BT'.

Unsure about your question re enhanced care.  But of possible relevance, I have a wayleave agreement for cables running under my garden.  Occasionally, faults have arisen affecting neighbouring properties and the cables need to be traced or dug up.   The engineers that attend arrive in an Openreach van but the legal agreement which gives them the right to be here, is with BT.  That agreement may predate the formation of Openreach, but there has never been any suggestion it should be amended.

Your suggestion about respecting the wishes of Openreach engineers is a good one. I missed an opportunity to enquire of two example specimens not so long ago when they were attending to a fault, hanging around for a day or three . They seemed pleasant and conversational so if opportunity arises again, I may well broach the subject with them. :)
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Weaver

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Re: BT vs Openreach, same difference?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 07:44:19 AM »

My self-assumed ‘guilt’ was of making the distinction when there is really no point.

My father had a phone line hung on poles. I know he received a very small annual payment but this could also have been due to electricity, also on poles.
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kitz

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Re: BT vs Openreach, same difference?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 02:32:34 PM »

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Repeat I fully appreciate that for legal purposes, BT and Openreach are not the same, they are legally different companies.   But in casual conversation, do we really need to distinguish them?  My opinion is... No we don’t, regardless of obscure company laws, they are equivalent for practical purposes. 

I still maintain it would have been more logical to split off BTretail/consumer than split off Openreach.      Although I believe they were attempting to find a solution there are certain parts of the [broadband] network which have always been difficult to decide whether it belongs to Openreach or BTWholesale.   In other aspects Openreach is nothing without BT - take R&D for example.   It never was going to be a totally clean & easy split because there is too much historic reliance on other depts within the BTgroup.    It's like cutting off an arm and still expecting it to function without a body. 

In casual conversation, I believe we should distinguish them...  or rather distinguish BTretail/consumer who are basic resellers just like any other ISP.
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