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Over 3.5 million unbundled broadband lines in UK
Monday 10 December 2007 14:13:04 by Andrew Ferguson

The November 2007 update from the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator lists the UK as having 3.552 million unbundled lines. There are also some 4.48 million lines using Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) and 5.82 million using Carrier Pre-Selection (CPS).

Migrations particularly off of the shared unbundled and fully unbundled connections are on the increase, with those on a fully unbundled service (where the telephone and broadband is provisioned by a providers own equipment in the local exchange) causing the most problems. The amount of publicity these problems have generated has not gone unnoticed.

"The subject of Migrations, whereby customers move from one supplier to another, or move home and need to cease and re-provide a service, has been covered widely in the press in the last month. The coverage has been from both a commercial and process perspective and, as the commercial aspects are outside of our remit, OTA2 have been working with Openreach and the CP’s on improvements to processes. Although it has taken some time to get sufficient attention to this very important subject, we are now encouraged by the commitment to this from all stakeholders and as a result of the work done so far we have seen a reduction of 48% in the number of TAG related calls to the BT helpdesk in the last seven weeks. This is a measure which indicates possible end user frustration reflected by people calling the helpdesk to seek help or complain about difficulties in migrating between suppliers or moving home. Unfortunately this improvement has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the number of MAC related calls, although in absolute terms the volume of such calls is appreciably lower than Tag related calls (by factor of 50). We are working with Ofcom to understand the sources of these calls and will take the necessary actions with the offending CP’s."

Extract from OTA2 update for November 2007

The biggest stumbling blocks we hear of from posters on our forums are problems using the simultaneous provide process and the costs of having a telephone line returned to BT or one of the WLR providers who can provision a new line.


Posted by hoodamanny over 9 years ago
thats 3.5 million people who are going to be pissed because when talk talk starts giving bad service they have no choice but go without internet for a month to go back onto a bt system that gives them choices of (competent) providers!

The only reason that they unbundle is to stifle competition and create barriers to allowing customers to freely choose the best service.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"The only reason that they unbundle is to stifle competition" or to a) try to reduce their costs compared to using BT Wholesale or b) offer different services such as Annex M upstream or ADSL2+.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Fully unbundling your line is never a good idea IMO shared services where you either have just your phone or just your internet with a company seem to be the much better option with less down sides and the ability to more easily change. Half the issues with fully LLU packages i blame ofcom for, see... if they had put measures in place at the time for those rules to also apply to FULLY LLU suppliers we wouldnt see half the issues we do.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Yes, herdwick, but a lot of ISP's unbundled without the user's express permission, which I consider slamming. "Unbundle, pay £10 a month more or take a MAC" is more along the lines of what should of been offered afaik.
Posted by wilsenda over 9 years ago
Will someone please tell this comparative beginner what the h*** "unbundled" means, and whether I am likely to have it!!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
here you go wilsenda...
Posted by wilsenda over 9 years ago
Thanks, Carpetburn. I now know what it means, and I know my local exchange has been "unbundled" by AOL, Carphone, Sky, etc., but I'm by no means clear as to how this benefits me - unless, perhaps, I decide to switch ISP's?
But does anyone agree that the term "bundled" would be more appropriate for this activity if it were not for the fact that it is already in use for "bundling" TV, phone & broadband?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
The main benefits are normally a cheaper service and if the exchange is easynet/bethere enabled you can normally get ADSL2+ which means higher speeds :)
Cant agree on calling the service bundled rather than unbundled as people like ukonline and bethere only provide broadband and not all the other rubbish and call bundle tripe others do.
Posted by wilsenda over 9 years ago
Thanks again, Carpetburn - I'll know where to come in future for practical advice.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
No problem wilsenda, of course whether or not you get a massive speed improvement on ADSL2+ will still depend on distance from the exchange etc but cheaper and faster as said are normally the 2 main benefits.
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