I was working at BT Martlesham Heath during privatisation. The place was swamped with accountants and managers without a clue. Budgets were tightened till the pips popped off. The bureaucracy got to the point were every £5 spent on hardware had £100 spent on pen-pushers checking it was done to the continuously changing rules. Research ground to a halt. BT had the capability in 1991 of making 2.4Gbit fibre components for around £30 for a 10km run that were shelved 'because we dont do research'. I didnt see anything close to that for nearly 10 years when BT was charging customers £60K for huge empty boxes to do a similar task,
Adastral Park as it now called doesnt seem to do any research (CMIIR) but from my point of view, sitting here on 1.6Mb 10km from the exchange waiting perhaps another 5 years for fibre that 25 years ago would have cost BT (no outretch then) less than they spend every couple of months fixing my rotting copper line I can see the shareholders may well have thought they did well out of it but they really were badly ripped off - as were the customers.