Joe Garner, the Chief Executive of Openreach, has defended the company’s record and suggested that splitting off the subsidiary from the rest of BT would not lead to increased investment in the UK's broadband network.

Last month, UK regulator Ofcom said making Openreach fully independent was one of a range of options it was looking at as part of its review into the country's digital communications market.

At the same time, BT rivals Sky and Talk Talk have upped their attacks on the company, claiming it has underperformed.

According to BT's most recent figures, fibre broadband was available to more than 23 million premises, around 80 percent of the UK, at the end of June.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday, Garner said: “I can tell you categorically that our top priority is rolling out fibre to more and more of the country.

“We’re well on our way to 95 percent coverage by 2017, we’re leading Europe and frankly I don’t want anything to get in the way of that. The current construct is working extremely well.”

He added: “I very much doubt that [anyone] would have been able to make the investment in fibre that BT made five years ago in the depths of recession.”

The CEO said he understood that anyone who hadn’t received superfast broadband would be “impatient” and hit back at an alleged lack of transparency regarding exactly where deployments would happen.

He said: “That was true a year ago… now it is in the public domain which areas are planned to be covered.”

The deployment of broadband to properties not covered by existing commercial networks is being handled by Broadband Delivery UK.

Last week, it revealed that it had reached three million homes thus far.

Garner said reaching the last one or two percent was “really difficult… some [of these areas] don’t have access to running water, electricity or gas”.

The CEO also revealed that Openreach had changed tack regarding recruitment in the last year or so.

He said: “In the past we relied too much on contract resource rather our own people. Things have been changing very rapidly… in the last year and a half we’ve recruited 3,000 engineers.”

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