BT spins off OpenReach

British broadband got a big boost today, when British Telecom decided to spin off its local loop operations, giving rivals a fighting chance, reports The Guardian. Annelise Berendt, a senior analyst with Ovum tells the news paper that OpenReach (BT’s spin-off) “sows the seeds of a new industry structure … This is a major opportunity for the UK telecoms industry to bury some of the regulatory bickering of the past.” The new division will have sales of $7.2 billion, and 30,000 employees. Cable & Wireless is not impressed by this, but others welcomed the decision. BT is using the spin-off as an excuse for less regulation. While the spin-off is not exactly a “real one” it does help smaller players like Bulldog, AOL, EasyNet and OneTel get easier access to the last mile. I wish FCC would enforce something like this in the US as well, but frankly there is more likelihood of a bridge going for sale in Brooklyn.

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