Re: Anyone from BT got time...
"At a guess it might have something to do with the problem of trying to launch a new business with its pro rata share of the BT pension scheme deficit."
That supposed "millstone", quite simply isn't.
To explain: Once free of the dead hand of BT, Openreach is free to offer competitively-priced services and ducts to all comers - and that includes companies that are currently regarded as mortal enemies at the moment and which Openreach is effectively either forbidden from dealing with _at all_ or restricted to dealing with under the most difficult possible conditions.
That's what happened in New Zealand The effect was that Chorus switched from that model to actively getting out and hunting down wholesale customers and subsequently has more business than it can deal with. The regulated voice line sector (copper and increasingly FTTH) is only a minor part of the whole business. By being a truely neutral supplier which actually OWNS the outside plant, the company does not have any kind of anticompetitive backdoor controller able to exert influence over it.
It should noted that New Zealand opted for the clean cleaving model BECAUSE of the easily documented market abuse in the UK. Telecom NZ was trying to sell the original BT/Openreach model as an ideal solution to stave off regulator intervention due to decades of abusive monopoly behaviour which made BT look like a bunch of choirboys.