BT investor says firm should consider Openreach split - Telegraph

A logo is seen on a BT Openreach engineer's van parked in central London, Britain, February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest broadband provider BT BT.L should consider selling off its Openreach network division, shareholder Aviva Investors has suggested, according to a Sunday Telegraph report.

Broadband providers including Sky SKYB.L, TalkTalk TALK.L and Vodafone VOD.L want regulator Ofcom to force BT to spin off its Openreach networks division, saying such a move would encourage more investment and improve service.

BT said in October that there was a “strong case” for the group to invest more in fibre-optic broadband networks, but the numbers would not add up if it was forced to spin off its network division.

“They obviously have been clear that they don’t want to do it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done,” the newspaper quoted Trevor Green, Aviva’s head of UK equities. “We just think it should be something which should be explored.”

Last month the British government said “nothing is off the table” when asked whether breaking up the telecoms group could help deliver the scale and speed of fibre broadband connections it says are needed.

Reporting by William James; Editing by Ruth Pitchford