I can give the committee a sense of the headline issues that we are covering. Much of the media attention over the past few months has been about Openreach and its relationship with the BT Group board, but the review is much broader than that.
Our starting point is that we are trying to step back as a regulator. We have not done a strategic review for 10 years and the market has changed a lot in that period. We are trying to look ahead to set out how we, as a regulator, can best support markets and communications working for all consumers over the next 10 years. We will consider issues such as availability, which we have just touched on. What can we do, working with Government and industry, to ensure that there is universal access to a decent service?
This is probably a question more for urban areas than for rural ones, but we will be looking at how we can maximise competition so that consumers are not reliant on an incumbent or a single provider but have a choice of, ideally, two or three providers.
We will be looking at quality of service. Some people have determined that communications have become the fourth utility, and we all rely on them. Customer service issues are therefore really important, so we will be looking at what our role as a regulator is there.
We will be looking at deregulation. We like to think of ourselves as a proportionate regulator. Given that technologies change—again, this is not an issue for much of Scotland, but in some parts of the country, mobile has become more of a substitute for land-line use—is there scope for having less regulation without leaving many people, particularly the most vulnerable, disadvantaged?
We will also be looking at Openreach, again in the context of the consumer. Would the consumer benefit from a different form of separation between Openreach and the broader BT Group? When we launched our discussion paper last summer, we said that we would be looking at four options—the status quo, the possibility of deregulation if there is more network competition for Openreach, the current model of functional separation, and a fuller and more structural solution whereby there would be a change of ownership.