The new Openreach would have its own Board of Directors and its own balance sheet. It would still be wholly owned by BT, and it is not clear how much day-to-day authority BT would have over its subsidiary. The move, called "legal separation", would stop short of full structural separation in which BT was required to divest itself of Openreach entirely, but is viewed by some as a step towards that end.
The decision requires the approval of the European Commission. BT has said it still hopes to achieve a "voluntary settlement" with Ofcom, noting that Ofcom has said it remains "open" to further proposals from BT to address Ofcom concerns.