With the number of unbundled telephone lines providing broadband services in the UK about to exceed two million, the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator has announced a transition to the OTA2 stage of its operation.
The OTA2 will build on the work of the original OTA scheme to be independent of the regulator and industry, the aim being to facilitate the swift implementation of processes to help with unbundling for both companies and the end-user. The range of products the OTA2 will look into are:
Local Loop Unbundling, (including Metallic Path Facility, Shared Metallic Path Facility, Sub-loop Unbundling and relevant support services, including air conditioning and power), Backhaul Extension Service and Wholesale Extension Backhaul; Wholesale Line Rental / Carrier Pre-Selection; Geographic number portability and broadband of both BT and other Communications Providers where migration impacts may occur; and others as necessary and reasonably agreed from time to time;OTA2 In-scope Products
The OTA Update for March 2007 highlights the fact that performance of Openreach delivering fully unbundled lines still lags behind that of a shared unbundled service by about 10%. The key challenges facing the OTA2 are now:
One area of confusion that continues to surface for end users is the changes to how various ordering systems and online broadband checkers report the state of a telephone line. Back in November 2006 we highlighted how a standard BT line rental product appeared was going to change. If the BT order checker shows PROVIDE LLU LINE SHARE PSTN 1 £ 0.0 £ 0.0 for your telephone line then this is referring to how Openreach handle your telephone line, rather than your phone line being unbundled without your knowledge.