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Openreach CEO Clive Selley Gets CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Saturday, June 12th, 2021 (7:12 am) - Score 3,624
Clive Selley – openreach uk ceo picture 2021

The CEO of network access provider Openreach (BT), Clive Selley, is one of only two people in the UK telecommunications sector this year to be awarded with one of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The other person was Stephen John Terry, although the honours list failed to clarify the what, why and who of that award.

The honours system is technically designed to recognise people who have made achievements in public life and or committed themselves to serving and benefiting Britain, such as by helping to make the lives of other people or communities better. Proposed awards are chosen by the honours committee and their decisions go to the Prime Minister and then to the Queen, who awards the honour.

In this case, Clive Selley was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) honour for “services to Telecommunications during Covid-19.” Two of Openreach’s engineers picked up honours for a similar reason last year.

Suffice to say that much of the industry probably deserves an honour for largely continuing to build and repair networks during the pandemic, sometimes even while being attacked by crazed conspiracy loons, but that’s a debate for another day.

Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, said:

“I’m grateful and humbled to receive this award, and I see it as recognition for the extraordinary work done by thousands of people across Openreach during the last year. Their work is often unsung, but our frontline workers are true heroes and they’ve kept the country connected in the most challenging of years. I’m also proud and honored to be included in the company of such a stellar list of award winners – congratulations to them all.”

Meanwhile, Stephen John Terry was awarded as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for “services to Telecommunications, Media and Internet,” albeit without any real context being given or organisations being named. Sadly, the honours list has never been particularly big on detail. But congrats to everybody.

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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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37 Responses
  1. Clive rothwell says:

    What a joke we have now been waiting 4 weeks for open reach to fix a fault through bt .

    1. David Powell says:

      Same here. Reported broken line on 16 May. Will have to wait at least another week for a fix.

    2. Paul says:

      Lucky you they have taken 20 years to not fix mine, it might work for a week then it goes again

  2. John H says:

    Latest forum post, OR cut customers off for 3 months, no explanation, repeated broken promises.

    1. Fastman says:

      so why is the customer out — did you ask — is it a pole on private land it is something that cant be fixed without private permissions there are a whole head of reason why a premises might be out of service for a significant period of time –=

    2. John H says:

      The customer’s, as there is more than one, don’t know as no information other than broken promises has been given. Three months with no reason is unforgivable.

    3. Ribble says:

      Doesn’t say openreach cut them off,but if their ISP is saying its an openreach problem they had no connection for 3 months then why haven’t they escalated it or even provided an explanation to their customers? Personally I would have escalated it to the CEO long before now.

  3. Buggerlugz says:

    Maybe the queen should give CBE’s to EVERYONE who actually did their job during COVID then?

    1. rrorororororororo says:

      nah man i got covid it was a flu lol

  4. GNewton says:

    So what exactly has Clive Selley done for “services to Telecommunications, Media and Internet” that’s so special? And this for a company which after more than a decade barely managed to cover 1/5th of this backwards country with such a basic thing as a fibre broadband utility!

    1. Ribble says:

      I think he has been instrumental in pushing for wide scale FTTP build in Openreach and on the BT board. He took over when they barely had 1% coverage so has achieved quite a lot in a short time

    2. The Queen says:

      haha….love to see you squirm. Drink it up Newton , this fabulous CEO got an award for his fabulous work for his fabulous company in this fabulous country.

      Just what are you going to do about it 🙂 xxx

    3. Fastman says:

      Gnewton your ignorance astounds me as you clearly have no understand of the turnaround Clive Selley had on openreach in the last 5 years he has been in charge

    4. A_Builder says:



      Whilst Fibre First is well overdue it is now fast becoming a reality thanks to the hard work of Selley and the OR team.

      The key question now that OR have committed to cover such a big % commercially, thanks to the tax breaks, is how to get to the last uneconomic bits.

    5. GNewton says:

      @Fastman: I suggest you read the article first! Clive Selley received was honoured for “services to Telecommunications during Covid-19.”. It doesn’t mention fibre broadband.

      BT is a large company, but for many towns or geographic areas other fibre providers were faster, with more impressive services, to deploy their services. Bigger does not mean faster. While Clive Selley focus on fibre is good, this is nothing special, it’s just another utiltiy that a telecom company like BT should have provided anyway, ages ago, all it does now is a late catchup.

      So for what exactly was Clive Selley rewarded with a CBE? The article mentions COVID, but we can surely think of many frontline workers who truely did a more remarkable job for their respective communities!

  5. Pezza says:

    Is this one of those awards for which the government decides who gets them? Or is this actually an award the Palace can decide who the receivers off are?

    1. Graham Moore says:

      This award is for all those who worked hard, day and night to provide better communication throughout the land. I wish people would appreciate that external BT engineers work in all sorts of awful weather conditions all the year round. Try working down a man mole all night long, with water pump and noisy generator thrashing away. Some people earn their money, others get it for nothing. Be grateful tor what you have!

    2. joe says:

      Its a Gov nomination.

    3. Pezza says:

      @Joe, thanks for that, makes it totally invalid then to me, he probably donated a nice fat cheque to the Boris party hence his nomination.

    4. Pezza says:

      @Graham, Wow you’ve been triggered! Also I don’t think you’ve actually read the story? Not sure how a nice award for a single person who’s a millionaire and has probably never been down a manhole in their life reflects on the engineers who do?

  6. Openreach engineer says:

    Disgusted while Clive was sitting at home in his wealthy house and million pound income we were made to do none essential work during both lockdowns I am sickened as a engineer for openreach at there attitude ,,though openreach has done very well through out the pandemic I would would go so far as to say they have made alot of money from it as more and more people work from home even having business fiber installed at home costing thousands …but then but makes the decision to not give wage rise ,,,,disgusting ,,once again the elite look after each other ,,,,,greedy and disrespectful to the back bone of the company..

    1. Karenspiracy Theorist says:

      Vote with your feet if you genuinely think this is the case of the elite supporting the elite. Pointless just saying it, Mr “Openreach engineer”.

    2. GNewton says:

      @Karenspiracy Theorist: “Vote with your feet ”

      Easier said than done, because many areas don’t have other network choices.

      This question is still unanswered: For what “services to Telecommunications during Covid-19.” exactly was he rewarded?

      Openreach, as a telecom utility company, has been doing poorly for more than a decade, and a basic fibre utility is still not available to the majority of this country.

    3. The Facts says:

      Other companies have been able to install alternatives for 30 years.

    4. GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: Other companies weren’t handed over a taxpayer-funded nationwide infrastructure GPO, rather they had to start from scratch. What other private company started out with a similar nationwide infrastructure? Nice try to deflect from the subject and true facts.

      How about answering the question: For what “services to Telecommunications during Covid-19” exactly was Clive Selley rewarded? What made him more outstanding than the many frontline workers who truly served their communities during difficult pandemic times?

    5. FibreFred says:

      Looks like the troll is proper upset.

      Openreach (which Clive heads up) kept on going throughout the pandemic in truly tough times.

      They put in circuits quickly to enable the Nightingale hospitals and deployed circuits to the adhoc testing sites around the county.

      For which he has been recognised.

      Get over it, oh and the share price is on the rise as well, just to add a few more sour grapes.

      Don’t live your whole life with such bitterness.

    6. Fastman says:

      if you were an openreach engineer then i would assume you were under the new grid arrangements assuming you know what that is

      significant disinformation as ever but lets not allow the facts to get in the way of the narrative

  7. Rob says:

    If anyone one needs to be rewarded for services to the telecom industry, it should be the Cityfibre directors for getting on with their FTTP rollout which forced OR to up their game.

    1. Brian says:

      You could also direct praise in the direction of the mobile networks for providing a 4G alternative for many of those for whom OR offering is very poor.

    2. Peach says:

      Why are Cityfibre the darlings of FTTP? They have no legacy copper network to maintain and are almost exclusively building in competitive urban areas using Openreach poles and ducts without the ongoing maintenance costs for these. There are plenty of other FTTP CP’s out there!

  8. Roger_N says:

    At least the OBE acronym has it right “Other Bu**ers Efforts”

  9. L.E. Vator says:

    The UK’s honours system is corrupt as all hell. Putin would be proud of it.

  10. Arthur P says:

    The comments on here are laughable. All woke lefty liberal attitudes.
    The tosser shouldn’t have been given a CDE period.
    OR did nothing new or more under the so called pandemic.
    Everyone has been conned and you lot lap it up.
    It’s a corrupt system.

    1. GNewton says:

      Hence my question: For what “services to Telecommunications during Covid-19” exactly was Clive Selley rewarded?

      Merely arranging for the provision of some new or temporary telecom services for some Nightingale hospitals (not mentioned in Mark’s article) doesn’t make Openreach an outstanding shining example while the majority of this country still doesn’t have a fibre broadband utility.

      However, we know of countless NHS and other frontline workers who truly provided outstanding services during the COVID pandemic.

    2. FibreFred says:


      Write to the department responsible for honours, express your disgust, ask for a full explanation and justification. Followed by the revocation if you are still not happy.

      Anything to stop the borefest.

    3. ArthurP says:


      Totally agree.
      A CBE for doing less in a pandemic than previous years.
      I had to work the whole of the pandemic, no furlough for me.
      No feet up drinking beer at home, no working from home, sitting in a better chair with all the home comforts and not having to listen or avoid `Karen`. And receiving the tax breaks for working at home.

  11. Paul says:

    It’s a shame that Openreach hide from faults, it’s about time that someone senior comes to rural Norfolk and sees how bad a service they supply is.

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