More than 3,000 workers across Scotland are to be part of the “largest one-off people transfer in UK corporate history” as Openreach Limited moves from BT Group to become a separate business.
The move on Monday means that Openreach, the UK’s largest telephone and broadband network, now has an independent UK workforce of 31,000 people.
Brendan Dick, chair of the new Openreach Board in Scotland, said: “This is an important day for Openreach as we’re fulfilling the commitments to Ofcom under the Digital Communications Review.
“Openreach now has its own Board in the UK, and here in Scotland, 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 right in the middle of our largest ever recruitment drive for 3,500 engineers – 400 of them in Scotland – so it’s an exciting time to be part of Openreach Limited.”
BT Group and Openreach have been working with partner unions to “ensure a smooth transition” of the 3,100 staff, including conducting a formal consultation on the transfer with unions and employees since July.
In August, it was announced that more than 900,000 premises across Scotland were connected to fibre broadband because of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband roll-out.
Openreach is responsible for upgrading and maintaining home telephone and broadband services on behalf of hundreds of service providers.
It also provides infrastructure for large and small businesses, as well as places like hospitals, schools and stadiums.