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What Is Openreach and Is It Owned by BT?

Updated on
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If you've got broadband or a home phone, the chances are you’re connected to the Openreach network. This guide will help you to learn more about BT Openreach and what it does. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Openreach network.

What Makes BT Openreach So Special?

There are a few things that make BT Openreach stand out from the competition. First of all, BT Openreach offers a wide range of broadband services to providers, including Fibre to the Home (FTTH), Fibre to the Building (FTTB), and Fibre to the Curb (FTTC).

The reason BT Openreach is special is because it took over the BT network in 2006 and has since gone on to become the biggest telecommunications network in the UK. The Openreach network is, like its name, open - this means that other companies can use the Openreach network to provide their own services.

In recent years the Openreach Fibre Rollout has seen more than 28.6 million home get access to fibre that is over 30Mbps. Openreach proudly states on its website that a new home or business is expected to be connected to its cutting-edge network every 12 seconds between now and 2026 to deliver the Fastest Broadband to your home or Business.

Do Openreach Own All Phone Lines?

No, BT Openreach does not own all phone lines in the UK. In fact, Openreach only owns the telecommunications infrastructure that connects BT's customers to the telephone network. This means that other companies such as italk and Sky can provide phone services through Openreach's infrastructure.

How Can I Contact BT Openreach?

You should never need to contact BT Openreach as they only deal directly with the service providers. However, you can contact Openreach to report vandalism or broken street furniture such as cabinets or telegraph poles.

Openreach Contact Number

If you need to contact BT Openreach by phone to report an issue that’s outside of your home, you can give Openreach a call on 0800 023 2023.

Openreach Live Chat

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If you want to chat with a BT Openreach representative in real time, you can use the live chat feature which is called EiVA. To begin using the Openreach live chat, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the 'Live Chat' icon on the Openreach website
  2. Choose what you’d like to discuss
  3. Enter your details and click 'Chat Now'.
  4. A BT Openreach representative will be able to help you with your question or problem.

Some of the options you can choose to talk about via the Openreach live chat are:

  • Damage, Health & Safety
  • Fibre Enquiry
  • Engineers
  • Crimes and Scams
  • Openreach & COVID-19
  • Other enquiry

Openreach Complaints

slim man headphones

If you have a complaint, you can contact Openreach's complaints department. The Openreach complaints phone number is 0800 917 8000. If you have a complaint with your current service you should contact your service provider. You can find your provider and a complete Guide to the contact options available from the table below:

BT Openreach Scam Calls

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If you receive any suspicious calls from someone claiming to be from BT Openreach, don't answer them! Report them to the police or your telecommunications provider. Likewise, if someone knocks on your door claiming to be a BT Openreach engineer, ask for ID and if you’re not expecting a visit from Openreach, contact your provider immediately.

Which Broadband Providers Use the BT Openreach Network?

BT Openreach provides the telecommunications network for most parts of the UK, with the exception of Hull which is wholly provided by KCOM.

At the time of writing, the Openreach network is used by some 690 Broadband Providers such as POP Telecom, Plusnet, Shell Broadband, and Vodafone to name a few.

BT Openreach Jobs

handyman holding screwdriver

If you're looking for a new job, you can check out the BT Openreach jobs website. When you apply for any BT Openreach jobs, you will go through the following process:

  1. Create an account on the BT Openreach jobs page
  2. Send your CV to Openreach
  3. If you’re a match, you’ll be invited for an interview
  4. Successful candidates will receive a job offer
  5. Start work at BT Openreach

In most cases, you’ll be required to have an interview with the hiring manager and a colleague who will be taking notes throughout the interview. These interviews can last from 30 minutes to one hour and often take place in Microsoft Teams, so have that downloaded in advance to make sure it works on your system.

If you pass the interview, you will be invited to an assessment centre where you’ll spend the day doing a range of activities to test your suitability for the BT Openreach job you’ve applied for. You’ll also have another interview with a line manager, along with some basic skills tests such as English, IT, Maths, etc.


BT Openreach FAQ

Below you will find the answers to many BT Openreach questions that we often get asked about the Openreach network.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Openreach And BT The Same Company?

No, Openreach is not part of BT. They're two separate companies. Whilst BT is a provider, BT Openreach on the other hand takes care of the greater network such as the copper wires and fibre cables that run outside your home. However, Openreach is a subsidiary of BT Group.

Who Do Openreach Provide For?

BT Openreach provides broadband and phone services to homes, businesses and public service organisations in the UK.

Do Openreach Own All Phone Lines?

No, Openreach doesn't own all the phone lines in the UK. The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, licences service providers to provide telephone services on a fixed-line and mobile basis. BT Openreach only provides and maintains its own network infrastructure that it owns. Some areas might have several network operators aside from Openreach, whilst others such as Hull don’t have BT Openreach at all.

How Do I Report A Fault To Openreach?

If you've experienced a problem with your broadband or phone service, you can report it by calling your provider. If you notice a problem outside, such as a broken telegraph pole you should contact BT Openreach on 0800 023 2023 to report it.

You can download this PDF Guide to Identifying Openreach Infrastructure from Openreach to find out if it does belong to BT Openreach or another operator.

Which Broadband Providers Do Not Use BT Lines?

Some broadband providers, such as Virgin Media, Community Fibre, and KCOM, don't use BT Openreach's network. They use their own network which they build independently

How Long Does Openreach Take To Fix Faults?

Openreach usually tries to fix reported faults within three to five working days, but that can easily lengthen if bad weather causes additional problems. If Openreach has to dig up the road, they need permission from the Local Authority.

How Many Engineers Does Openreach Have?

According to data published by Openreach in 2020, it says that it employs more than 34,500 staff, including 25,000 engineers.

Do I Have To Pay For An Openreach Engineer?

No, you shouldn’t have to pay for an Openreach engineer. However, if you've reported a fault to your provider and an Openreach engineer is sent to your home you may be charged if the fault is found to be due to your internal wiring or equipment such as a faulty handset, router, or other piece of equipment that doesn’t belong to Openreach.

You should check the terms and conditions of your contract as each provider operates differently. It's also worth confirming any potential charges with your provider when you report the fault.

The services and products mentioned on this website may only represent a small selection of the options available to you. Selectra encourages you to carry out your own research and seek advice if necessary before making any decisions. We may receive commission from selected partner providers on sales of some products and/or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide.

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