BT's new Openreach CEO on the fibre future

We speak to Openreach's new CEO, 35-year-old Olivia Garfield, about the state of British broadband and how BT is going to shape it.

It's rare you see a tech giant employ anyone under the age of 40 in a senior position, but BT has been brave enough to do just that.

The telecoms giant announced 35-year-old Olivia Garfield as the new chief executive (CEO) of Openreach, after former head Steve Robertson chose to step down.

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The role will see her effectively take control of BT's fibre rollout, which should see two thirds of UK homes and businesses able to hook up to next-generation connections. It'll be one heck of a task.

We managed to grab some time with Garfield ahead of her official start date on 1 April to talk about her plans in the CEO role and the wider fibre market.

Now Steve Robertson has left, will there be a shift in strategy or simply a continuation of his work?

I don't begin until April so I'm in listening mode. I think it's true of any new chief exec of any company, the key thing first of all is to make sure you actually slip into somebody's shoes and really understand the business in detail before beginning to prophesise about what you will and won't do.

The key thing for me is a fibre future. The main thing for us to do, as Steve has said and certainly I support, is to make sure we continue deploying at speed, and at a very competitive cost, our fibre network.

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I think that's what our customers want, they want us to have the best fibre deployment footprint and they want that as quick as possible. Certainly that part of our strategy very much remains.

The other helm of the strategy has been around giving really good customer service and making sure we listen to the market, so that's not going to go either.

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