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Openreach Unveil New non-BT Branding to Showcase its Independence

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 (8:41 am) - Score 5,145
openreach_2017_van_branding

Earlier this year BT and Ofcom reached a voluntary ‘Strategic Review’ deal (here), which required BT’s network access division (Openreach) to become a “legally separate” company with its own independent board. Today Openreach has unveiled their new branding, which scrubs out BT.

The deal means that Openreach is still technically part of the BT Group, although they now have greater independence and have today reaffirmed their commitment to treating all communications provider (CPs) customers equally.

The new non-BT branding (pictured) forms part of the on-going process to implement the agreed changes. In keeping with that Openreach’s CEO, Clive Selley, has sent out a letter to all 580 of the operator’s Communications Provider customers (Vodafone, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk and BT etc.) to highlight what they’re doing.

Clive Selley’s “Openreach is changing” Letter to UK ISPs

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.

We want to get on with the job of delivering better service, broader coverage and faster speeds across Britain, so we’ve already established the new Openreach Board, with an independent Chairman and a majority of independent members, and they are now playing a very active role in steering the business and setting its strategy.

We’ve also begun changing the way we engage with you our Communications Provider customers by introducing a confidential phase to our discussions on significant investments and major strategic developments.

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.

The re-brand is also an opportunity to restate what Openreach stands for and how we want to work going forward. Openreach is all about our people and our network.

We want our brand to be consistent and recognisable so we’re keeping the distinctive typeface and name, as our research suggests it will mean our engineers continue to be recognised when they knock on your customers’ doors.

As you’ll see from the new imagery and About Openreach video this isn’t an expensive or extravagant re-brand. It’s a simple and pragmatic step which will allow us to continue to focus on our business.

From today and over the coming weeks, months and years, we’ll be introducing the new logo and imagery into our key touchpoints – everything from our websites, slides and documents, ID cards and workwear to the 22,000 vans in our fleet. We’re rolling it out over the next 1-4 years to reduce costs and minimise the impact to you and your customers.

Openreach aims to introduce the new logo and imagery across all of their key touchpoints – everything from their websites, slides and documents, ID cards and workwear to the 22,000 vans in their fleet (they have around 30,400 people – 25,000 of which are field engineers).

However, in an effort to reduce costs, the operator states that it will take them 1-4 years to complete the branding transition. In fairness this isn’t a surprise since the transition will be a mammoth task.

Estimated Timeline for Re-Branding Assets

· 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

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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8 Responses
  1. Avatar lyndon

    Mark,

    Do we know how this independence will work within BT Ireland who act as an agent for Openreach but do not have a presence in Northern Ireland?

  2. Avatar RuralBroadbandSucks

    In the linked “Strategic Review” article, it states “* A separate strategy and control over budget allocation. Openreach will develop its own strategy and annual operating plans, within an overall budget set by BT Group.”
    So does this mean BT still get all the government funding?
    For example BT get handed the £150 million for Northern Ireland ultrafast rollout over 2 years, and then BT decide £150 million should be kept by BT, and £0 be allocated to Openreach? A Win Win for BT, as they get the money, and can go I told you splitting us up was a mistake as it was Openreach who were not investing in the network NOT BT!

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      That’s simply ridiculous. In the first instance, BT are legally obliged to deliver whatever is in those contracts. They can’t simply take grant money and deliver nothing pointing their finger at a wholly-owned subsidiary. Further, BT aren’t paid grant money until after the network is built in the first place under BDUK rules. They are not paid money in advance at all.

      If you care to read the news items on the OR split you will also find that the physical assets of the network will continue to be in BT Group ownership. Openreach are effectively to act as an (independent) investment and network operations agent. BT will have to provide the budget for those BDUK project for OR to spend on its behalf, but the capex will be BT Group money, not OR who have will have no power to borrow on its on behalf.

      But the idea that BT Group can keep grant money without delivering the network it’s contracted to deliver when it’s not even paid until it is installed is, frankly, paranoia gone mad.

      The probably reason BT group retains title ownership of the network appears to be primarily because the pension trustees would, otherwise, have insisted on a much faster clearing of the pension deficit which would have had massive adverse implications on network investment and tied the whole process up in the courts for years.

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      This is an article which spells out the role the Pension Trustees have in influencing the Ofcom OR split issue and why they had a de-facto veto on any restructuring proposal which would have weakened BT Group’s ability to cover the pension deficit (and it’s also why the network is still owned by BT Group who are responsible in law for the pension deficit).

      http://www.cityam.com/255560/can-ofcom-force-through-openreach-split-bt-trustees-believe

  3. Avatar alan

    The Mrs said the picture of the van looks like the box of some supermarket own brand feminine hygiene product. I can only assume its down to the rather basic purple and white scheme.

  4. Avatar captain.cretin

    I call the new livery a fake photo-shop job.

    That van is far too clean.

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