The rush to make use of unbundled connections in the form of consumers chasing the temptingly low prices and providers trying to lower their own costs continues. The end of January 2008 brought the UK tantalising close to breaking the four million unbundled line mark, with 3,931,000 LLU lines. It was only just over three years ago that BT Wholesale broke through the four million ADSL line mark which demonstrates the rapid progress in take-up for broadband over the last couple of years.
The full Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator report for January 2008 reveals that the while Openreach has been making progress in some key areas, deadlines are slipping in other areas. The main disappointment being that improvements to migration processes expected in April 2008 have been deferred, with no commitment to a new date. The area most affected would appear to be the home mover process which remains a hit and miss affair still.
Looking forward, Openreach has published pricing for sub loop unbundling, however further pricing information is needed for companies to move forward and make plans to utilise sub loop unbundling (SLU). Unbundling of the sub loop involves providers taking over the connection at a street cabinet, which could lead to fibre to the cabinet deployments, and for those with long telephone lines, provides the hope that broadband speeds could increase significantly if the length of metallic wire used is reduced.