Staff at BT have been recorded laughing about a cross-party MPs’ report that lays bare the “dire” internet speeds the company provides to individuals and companies.
The gaffe happened on Saturday, when the communication giant’s press team failed to properly hang up the phone after speaking to Grant Shapps MP, who set up the report.
On the recording, which the ex-Tory chairman has uploaded online, the press officers sarcastically commend the MPs for entitling the damning report ‘Broadbad’.
“Oh that’s clever. That’s hilarious,” says one. Agreeing, another shouts: “Oh look at that…” before pointing out that the front of the report shows a strikethough to the ‘n’ in ‘broadband.’
The duo then go onto name the report’s authors – the British Infrastructure Group – and then question their timing, saying “Why would they do it [publish the report] on a Saturday?”
The report, backed by 121 MPs, accuses BT of “limiting Britain’s business and economic potential” due to underinvestment from the monopoly run by BT and its Openreach division.
Despite the weight of the accusation – made worse by BT’s £1.7bn taxpayer handout to boost its service, the BT staff seemed “simply not to care” about the report, Shapps told the BBC.
The report concludes: “Unless BT and Openreach are formally separated to become two entirely independent companies little will change. They will continue to paper over gaping cracks.”
In response, BT chief executive Gavin Patteron admitted there was “more to do” to improve broadband. but his company described the report as “misleading and ill-judged.”