BT share price: Openreach in talks with telco’s rivals over broadband upgrades

on Apr 12, 2017
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

BT Group’s (LON:BT.A) network division Openreach is seeking to establish a formal structure for information sharing with the telco’s rivals Sky (LON:SKY), Vodafone (LON:VOD) and others, The Telegraph has reported. The move comes with the division currently in the process of legal separation from the former telecoms monopoly.

BT’s share price has advanced in London this morning, having added 0.56 percent to 314.70p as of 08:19 BST, largely in line with gains in the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.48 percent higher at 7,400.78 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 30 percent of their value over the past year, and are down by some 14 percent in the year-to-date.

The Telegraph reported that BT’s Openreach had called in outside experts to design a consultation process, with Stuart McIntosh, formerly competition director at Ofcom, understood to be leading the work. The newspaper notes that formal consultation is expected to help build trust between the network unit and BT’s rivals in the retail broadband market so that Sky and Vodafone share business plans that will help justify the costs of replacing old copper telephone lines with new fibre-optic cables. The former telecoms monopoly has committed to fund two million such connections by the end of the decade.
“We’re keen to work more closely with our customers on how we can collectively deliver better service, enhance investment in the network and how we can better meet their customers’ needs in future,” Mark Shurmer, Openreach’s regulation chief, told the newspaper.
The 23 analysts offering 12-month price targets for BT for the Financial Times have a median target of 400.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 580.00p and a low estimate of 270.00p. As of April 11, the consensus forecast amongst 22 polled investment analysts covering the former telecoms monopoly advises investors to hold their position in the company.
As of 08:39 BST, Wednesday, 12 April, BT Group plc share price is 314.87p.

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