BT: 'Strong case' for fiber investment only if Openreach left intact

|About: BT Group plc (BT)|By:, SA News Editor

Incumbent British telecom BT Group (BT -1%) -- in the middle of a lengthy public/government debate about whether it must spin off its Openreach infrastructure arm -- is maintaining that there's a "strong case" to invest in fiber if the company stays intact that doesn't add up in the case of a spin-off.

A split would also force a difficult and expensive separation of pension liabilities, says BT CEO Gavin Patterson.

"The case for more investment is quite strong," Patterson says. "There is going to be no shortage of opportunities to invest, the challenge for us as a company is to make sure the investment cycles are reasonable and we are able to make a return from them."

In summer 2015, Patterson famously raised the specter of a decade of litigation if British regulators forced a spin-off of Openreach, which holds wholesale infrastructure used by telecom rivals to deliver service.

Past Openreach coverage