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Openreach Starts Removing BT From Its Brand

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Openreach will remove BT from its logo, vehicles and equipment by 2021 as part of phased rebranding

Openreach has started the process of removing BT from its branding as part of a four year exercise that will cover the company’s logo, vehicles and online properties.

Last year, BT agreed to make Openreach a legally separate entity complete with its own CEO, budget, staff and brand, to appease regulator Ofcom and ensure that the open access network division would not have to be sold off.

Some of BT’s rivals had accused Openreach of acting in the best interests of its parent company and not the 580 communications providers that use its services. This, they argued, stifled innovation and harmed competition.

BT Open Reach Rebrand. London. Picture Steve O'Connell 21-06-17

Openreach brand

As part of the deal with regulator Ofcom, it was agreed that Openreach must have its own distinctive identity without any mention to BT.

By April 2021, all of Openreach’s 30,000 staff’s uniforms and 22,000 vehicles will have the new branding, as will major buildings, signs and stationary. Consumer facing websites and apps will be completed by September.

The staggered approach is to minimise cost and disruption, Openreach CEO Clive Selley told customers in an open letter.

“We’re removing the ‘BT’ element from the Openreach logo,” he said. “This is a visual sign to reflect how we deal with everyone on equal terms. We are committed to delivering the highest standards to everyone and we’re doing this well ahead of Ofcom’s timeframe as we feel the re-brand is an important step in building trust with you and our stakeholders.

“We want our brand to be consistent and recognisable so we’re keeping the distinctive typeface and name, as our research suggests it will mean our engineers continue to be recognised when they knock on your customers’ doors.

“As you’ll see from the new imagery … this isn’t an expensive or extravagant re-brand. It’s a simple and pragmatic step which will allow us to continue to focus on our business.

“From today and over the coming weeks, months and years, we’ll be introducing the new logo and imagery into our key touchpoints – everything from our websites, slides and documents, ID cards and workwear to the 22,000 vans in our fleet. We’re rolling it out over the next 1-4 years to reduce costs and minimise the impact to you and your customers.”

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