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BT picks insider Clive Selley to run Openreach

BT has announced CIO Clive Selley will take charge of the organisation's Openreach infrastructure division

BT has turned to insider Clive Selley – currently group CIO and CEO of BT Technology, Services and Operations (BT TSO) – to take the wheel at BT’s arm’s-length infrastructure division Openreach, following the departure of Joe Garner, announced in November 2015.

As CIO, Selley is responsible for BT’s core networks and IT systems around the world. These include TV, mobile and conferencing, and its R&D unit – based at Adastral Park in Suffolk – in which capacity he has overseen BT’s development of broadband delivery technologies such as G.fast.

He chairs BT’s cyber security council and is considered one of the UK’s foremost experts in network technology and digital infrastructure.

BT said his appointment would bring a “proven track record” in network management and technological innovation. 

“He has an unrivalled knowledge of networks and engineering and is ideally suited to take the UK from a superfast nation to an ultrafast one,” said CEO Gavin Patterson.

“He supports our vision for the UK’s digital future and will play a key role in ensuring that businesses, consumers and communities receive the services they need and deserve.” 

Ten-year-old Openreach – which has presided over a substantial diversification in broadband competition and services – is under immense pressure as the inevitable move to fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) services, as opposed to fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), heralds the possibility of regulatory change and the possible forced separation of Openreach from BT.

Although its plans to continue to invest in ultrafast services – BT has already pledged to have 10 million premises hooked up to G.fast by 2020 – still stand, top of Selley’s agenda will be the outcome of Ofcom’s market review, expected by the end of February 2016.

Selley said he was committed to continuing his predecessor's work of delivering further customer service improvements, which he described as a top priority.

“Openreach is at the heart of the UK economy with our open access network underpinning a ferociously competitive broadband market. That has benefited consumers and businesses greatly,” he said.

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