Light Reading

Money Man Takes Charge at Openreach

Ray Le Maistre

BT has appointed a former senior banking industry executive, Joe Garner, to take the helm at its access networks division, Openreach . (See BT Names New CEO of Openreach .)

When he joins in mid-February, Garner will replace Liv Garfield, who quit as CEO of Openreach in November 2013 to take up a new role in the water utilities sector. (See Euronews: Openreach CEO Jumps Ship and Liv Garfield Quits BT Openreach .)

Garner's most recent job was at global banking giant HSBC Bank plc, where he was head of the UK operation. He stepped down from that job in September 2012, reportedly because he was due to move overseas for his next role at the bank but didn't want to leave the UK, according to The Scotsman newspaper.

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) believes his experience in retail banking, as well as previous roles at technology retailer Dixons and consumer products giant Procter & Gamble, will have prepared Garner for the Openreach role. "His experience of managing a large regulated business with a substantial workforce will help us as we expand our fibre optic network into rural areas," said BT CEO Gavin Patterson in the operator's official announcement. (See BT FTTx Boosts Cornish SMEs, Euronews: BT Promises 300Mbit/s Broadband, and BT's Openreach Reaches Ethernet Access Milestone .)

Openreach, which provides communications service providers (CSPs, including BT Retail) with fixed access network capabilities and services, is responsible for the operations and rollout of BT's copper and fiber access networks. Those activities have attracted a lot of attention in the past few years as the UK incumbent looks to build out a high-speed fixed access network using fiber and enhanced copper. (See BT Trials Huawei's for FTTx, BT Preps Its Next FTTx, Core Moves, and Euronews: BT Promises 300Mbit/s Broadband.)

As demand for high-speed connections grows -- for retail, enterprise, and wholesale applications -- so Openreach has found itself in demand but also under pressure. As a result, it has a mixed reputation amongst its user base. Since it was formed in late 2005, Openreach has been widely regarded as providing an adequate and largely fair service to its customers, but in the past year there have been grumbles from multiple CSPs about a decline in service levels, often attributed to Openreach being overstretched by the conditions of large backhaul contracts signed with UK mobile service providers. (See BT Opens Up Access.)

In the six months to the end of September 2013 (the first half of BT's financial year), Openreach generated revenues of nearly £2.52 billion (US$4.13 billion) and an operating profit of £523 million ($857 million).

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Blogger
1/14/2014 | 4:35:31 PM
Re: I wonder if anyone mentioned....
Though he has other experience, a banker is not the first type you think of who might be capable of nimbly interfacing with all of those parties and keeping them happy or at bay.
User Rank: Blogger
1/14/2014 | 5:05:04 AM
I wonder if anyone mentioned....
I wonder if anyone has mentioned to Garner just how political this post is? And I mean political with an upper and lower case p.... as broadband becomes as important as transpotr connections, Garner is going to find himself the focus of  much attention from the top of the UK political scene all the way down to the village groups that want to know why fiber hasn't gone to their community.

And then there are the service provider customers and  Ofcom to deal with... 
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Tail-f, Cisco & What the Future Holds

10|9|15   |   8:17   |   (0) comments

Steve Saunders meets with Tail-f's Director of Technology, Carl Moberg, in Stockholm to discuss becoming part of Cisco, ETSI MANO, virtualization and the need to combine science and business in order to create opportunities for service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Broadband Forum Embraces SDN & NFV

10|9|15   |   02:42   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Robin Mersh and Kevin Foster from the Broadband Forum explain how the industry body is adapting to meet the SDN, NFV and cloud needs of the access network sector.
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
Cord Cutting? 'Fraid so.
Brett Sappington, 10/7/2015
Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
Cisco Makes 'Martian' Connection
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/9/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here