Other BT PLC sections

EAB overview March 2016

EAB’s January 2016 meeting

The EAB met in January and had presentations from BT, Openreach and Richard Feasey, a telecoms consultant.


Sean Williams, Director of Strategy, Policy & Portfolio for BT, updated the EAB on the plans to integrate EE into BT. We reviewed BT’s plans to train EE employees on the Undertakings, and asked questions about the steps BT had taken to ensure the integration would comply with the Undertakings. BT provided a separate presentation on its current training system and training completion rates, and we requested a further presentation on how BT measured the effectiveness of its Undertakings training programme.

Richard Feasey, former Group Policy Director at Vodafone and now a telecoms consultant, presented to us his views on current market trends and regulatory policy.

We received our regular quarterly report from Joe Garner, Openreach CEO, and were introduced to Clive Selley, Joe’s successor at Openreach.

We reviewed our risk register for 2016/17, and agreed to review a revised version at our April meeting, which would include proposed mitigating actions. We also agreed the structure and themes for our 2016 annual report.

Undertakings delivery report


We requested an update from BT on its progress in its migrations programme in advance of our April meeting, and for BT to provide further updates to each meeting until the achievement of its migration commitments (due in April 2017).

Ongoing compliance

We have introduced quarterly reviews of our behavioural dashboard, rather than the six-monthly reviews previously operated. Not all the measures are suitable for quarterly reporting, so we will retain a review of the full dashboard every six months, and we agreed in January the measures that would additionally be reviewed quarterly. These include training completions, breach statistics and complaint numbers. We also agreed that we would publish the majority of the behavioural measures in our 2016 Annual Report, and we would review over the next year the inclusion of any unpublished measures.


After our January meeting, we received a complaint from an external CP, questioning whether BT’s Customer First programme had provided BT CPs with different opportunities to influence Openreach from those available to external CPs. We are currently investigating the complaint and will report further in our annual report.


We have reviewed five breach cases:





Openreach failed to provide an e-chat facility to MPF CPs who had not participated in the original trial of this facility


BT has now made the facility available to all CPs

Inappropriate direct contact between Openreach employees and the field engineering groups


The practice has been ceased and staff have been re-briefed

Openreach intranet pages inappropriately accessible to BT employees


Access permissions have been revoked

A small element of an Openreach application was hosted on shared hardware, rather than physically separated hardware


The element will be migrated to Openreach-only hardware by 31 March 2016

Openreach CI was sent in error to a BT Wholesale employee


The error was identified and the information deleted without being read

We also noted that BT had reported it had completed the remedial actions for the two non-trivial breaches involving Openreach systems being inappropriately hosted on the BT Enterprise Cloud. We are validating these remedial actions.

Product Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

BT published KPIs showing the output performance of its regulated wholesale products. The KPI charts for each product portfolio compare service performance for BT’s business units to that for other CPs.

Ofcom’s Digital Communications Strategic Review

We have reviewed Ofcom’s initial conclusions to the DCR and discussed the review with BT’s CEO, Gavin Patterson. Ofcom’s CEO, Sharon White, is due to present to our next meeting in April.

EAB Chairman

The January meeting was Phil Hodkinson’s last meeting as EAB Chairman, prior to stepping down from the BT plc board. We thanked him for the care and commitment he had applied to the role and welcomed our new Chairman, Isabel Hudson. Isabel took over as Chairman on 1 February 2016, and has been undertaking induction activities in preparation, including observing EAB meetings.


CI - Confidential Information
CPs – Communications Providers
DCR - Ofcom’s Digital Communications Strategic Review
EAB –Equality of Access Board
EAO - Equality of Access Office
KPIs – Key Performance Indicators
MPF - Metallic Path Facility