The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator has published its update for August 2007. In terms of raw numbers the UK has 2.997 million unbundled lines, 4.33 million Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) lines and 5.81 million lines using Carrier Pre-Selection (CPS - calls packages).
While the numbers look good and show continuing growth and a continuing eroding of the dominance of BT Retail, there are areas for concern. Repairs of shared unbundled (SMPF), fully unbundled (MPF) & WLR lines is running at around 20 to 30% failure rate, whilst failed provisions of a full unbundled line (MPF) are around 20%. MPF stands for Metallic Path Facility to keep people up to speed on the industry jargon.
Why are things still falling short of their targets? It is hard to pin the blame squarely on one issue, certainly in early days there were more problems with Openreach as it got up to speed quickly, but with the wide number of communications providers involved in unbundling, arriving at a consensus and clear way forward to improve things is probably proving difficult.
For people trying to move away from a fully unbundled service (one where the communications provider provides both the telephone and broadband service), the Simultaneous Provide Process is gaining ground. Unfortunately not all the providers have adopted it yet and further improvements to this scheme are expected by the end of 2007. Migrations for unbundled connections should improve once the remaining LLU providers adopt the Openreach Equivalence Management Platform (EMP) which is expected for the end of September 2007.
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