Frequently asked questions

Questions and answers about Openreach including who we are and how we work.


Questions about our business

When did Openreach start operating?

Openreach was created in January 2006 to maintain and develop the phone and broadband network, and to sell products and services to communications providers. This was part of a legally binding list of Undertakings BT gave to Ofcom, our regulator, in September 2005.

In 2017, Ofcom published the Digital Communications Review to make sure digital communications markets continued to work effectively for consumers and businesses. As a result of this, BT gave Ofcom a list of voluntary Commitments, which included making Openreach a legally separate company with its own staff, management, purpose and strategy.

Can consumers and businesses buy directly from Openreach?

In almost every case consumers and businesses will buy services directly from their communications provider. But there are a small number of instances where they can ask us to work directly for them. For example, they might ask us to work on their own wiring after the network termination point, and we can bill them for the work. This depends on their arrangements with their communications provider though.

Where can I find out more about how Openreach is governed?

There’s more information about this here, as well as details of our board and execs.


Questions about our relationship with BT

Is Openreach Limited part of BT?

Yes. Openreach Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Telecommunications plc, but is independently governed. Openreach Limited trades on behalf of British Telecommunications plc.

Do you really treat BT like any other customer?

Yes. We offer the same services at the same prices to all communications providers including BT. This means we don’t favour BT or any other communications provider over our other customers. We treat all our customers equally.

Can Openreach sell other wholesale products so customers don’t have to buy from two different parts of BT?

Not normally, but we can be flexible. This includes if a customer needs to coordinate buying non-Openreach BT services with buying our products, or mainly buys its BT products from us and wants a way to buy small amounts of non-Openreach products. Our main role is to sell our products though, not BT Group’s.

Can BT Enterprise sell other wholesale products so customers don’t have to buy from two different parts of BT?

Yes. BT Enterprise can sell both Openreach and BT Enterprise products in certain circumstances. The terms under which we sell products are the same, whoever you buy them from.