Circa 31,000 BT Group employees have moved to Openreach in what is thought to be the largest people transfer in UK corporate history under TUPE Regulations. The company hailed the transfer as the 'final major milestone' in creating a more independent legally separate business.
Openreach Chairman Mike McTighe (pictured) said: “Openreach now has its own board, greater strategic and operational independence, a separate brand and an independent workforce, and we’re ambitious for the future.
“We’ve set out a clear plan to invest in new, more reliable future-proof broadband technology and we’re in the middle of our largest ever recruitment drive for 3,500 engineers.
“We’re fulfilling the commitments to Ofcom under the Digital Communications Review."
Openreach claims to now have the largest team of fibre broadband engineers in the country.
“We’re determined to continue spearheading the national roll out of next generation broadband networks,” added McTighe.
As part of its Fibre First strategy Openreach is planning to roll-out full fibre broadband to three million households by the end of 2020 with an ambition to reach 10 million by the middle of the next decade.
He also noted that BT Group and Openreach worked closely with partner unions to ensure a smooth transition of people, including a formal consultation on the transfer with unions and employees since July.
In related news BT’s Northern Ireland networks engineering division has been rebranded as Openreach Northern Ireland.