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UK hits 3,931,000 unbundled lines
Friday 08 February 2008 14:03:58 by Andrew Ferguson

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.

Comments

Posted by martinsaunders over 9 years ago
Blimey, it feels a very long time ago since I remember LLU line #1 being turned on in Battersea back in 2001.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Hooray for LLU it and its popularity just keeps growing :)
Posted by bosie over 9 years ago
Graphed, it would look shocking to BT but given the time space it's not really hard to comprehend the figures and adjust the statistics for circumstances but that's the past. Standing here today looking at those figures, they're large enough to ring alarm bells. Hopefully a light will turn on and fibre will become the next game winner.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
LLU is coming towards a plateau, the rollout is done and once Sky and Talk Talk etc have moved existing customers onto LLU the growth rate will tank.
Posted by therioman over 9 years ago
Too many users assume LLU is a magic wand to fix bandwidth worries, but no. There is sod all reality I would say of Be* et all offering 100% unmetered services long term - history tells us ISPs offer the moon on a stick, get critical mass, then cut back.

ISPs LLU backhaul gets stretched eventualy, then changes will turn up. The majority of users will continue to use them regardless, relying, as always, on the "better the devil you know", perceived "hassle" and "lack of knowledge". Heavier users complain and move on. The cycle continues.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
therioman: the reality of this is actually, that too many people take unfair advantage of this!!
- they provide 'free' stuff, all the nutters overload the network, so they have to take measures to protect their investment...

If there were **no** speed limits on motorways, what do you think the result would be???
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
- would you be happy if the police said 'we wont impose speed limits, but DO NOT expect any police or ambulance services' ???
Posted by therioman over 9 years ago
comnut: Sorry, how do speed limits on motorways relate in anyway to a finite resource of bandwidth?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
No, therioman, the evidence is that nobody major invests in backhaul. It's no coincidence that the average broadband speed's been falling for last 18 months. The quality option is only avaliable from a few niche providers, some LLU.
Posted by dopamine2 over 9 years ago
Posted by comnut about 3 hours ago
If there were **no** speed limits on motorways, what do you think the result would be???


Generally, freer flowing traffic, no twats sat in the outside lane doing 70mph "because that's the speed limit", and a much more enjoyable experience for all.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
You can look at the german autobahns, no need to "think" about the results.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
LOL @herdwick and therioman
1 Certain LLU providers continue to get customers... Bethere/O2 are far from done expanding and ukonlines subscriber base has grown. (Atleast basing it on happy and unhappy people with the company here and people joining it has)
2 therioman... cant offer it long term.... Err how long do you think ukonline have been offering LLU?
(CONT)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Its always the same here the people that like to try and criticise some LLU services are always people that A) Have no experience as a customer with them B) Cant get it so cry like children C) Have a interest of some type in BT or the comms industry and worried BT lose money.
Always has been the same... If O2 rolled out fibre tomorrow these people would moan, but if it were BT they would claim it’s wonderful.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"Bethere/O2 are far from done expanding " - really ? samknows shows 1 exchange awaiting completion and 4 done in December '07. Doesn't look like they're forging ahead.

I would welcome Be installing fibre, but their pathetic customer numbers for the 24M ADSL2+ would suggest they ought not to do it for fear of bankruptcy.
Posted by zenops over 9 years ago
If you want a decent Broadband speed you pay for it - no matter how much spin there is in the marketplace, that is the cold hard fact of the matter. It costs money to provide and therefore common sense tells us that to get it without FUP, traffic shaping or selective use depending on what your doing (HTTP, Usenet, P2P etc) you pay a price. LLU is not the whole solution but it plays a part in the abilities of ISP's to reduce some costs assuming they get enough subscribers using it.

Posted by Joneseylah over 9 years ago
"Posted by herdwick about 4 hours ago
"Bethere/O2 are far from done expanding " - really ? samknows shows 1 exchange awaiting completion and 4 done in December '07. Doesn't look like they're forging ahead."

Who said samknows is the definitive list of O2 Broadbands rollout?
The information on sam knows is only as accurate as what any ISP wants to let into the public domain.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote""Bethere/O2 are far from done expanding " - really ? samknows shows 1 exchange awaiting completion and 4 done in December '07. Doesn't look like they're forging ahead."
Id say O2 have done pretty well already with nearly a fifth of uk exchanges already unbundled... Especially given the short time they have been offering their own service. Samknows is not entirely accurate they have in the past listed dates for my exchange that never occured... bethere do have a list in txt format of available and coming soon exchanges which i cant find at the moment but id trust that more.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"I would welcome Be installing fibre, but their pathetic customer numbers for the 24M ADSL2+ would suggest they ought not to do it for fear of bankruptcy."

LOL yeah im sure O2 are going to go bankrupt overnight lol
I almost guarantee someone be it them, sky or whoever launch fibre before BT in this country... Others beat BT to the punch with ADSL2+ fibre will be no different... wait and see then id say told you so.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
Samknows takes a data feed from Be. No exchanges enabled in 6 weeks doesn't look like an ongoing rollout to me. 814 exchanges at the beginning of November 07, 832 at the end of December 07. Don't hold your breath for more.

There's alweays a chance that someone in Telefonica decides they've had enough red ink from Be and pulls the plug. Unless it turns profitable they're doing a disservice to their owners.

Where's the evidence that "Bethere/O2 are far from done expanding" apart from the obvious that they've done so little so far.
Posted by Joneseylah over 9 years ago
"Posted by herdwick
Samknows takes a data feed from Be."

As Be Broadband now appears to be trading as a specialist and business broadband subsidiary of O2 Broadband maybe they are no longer involved in rollout decisions. Samknows has not even been updated with the launch date of O2 Broadband and simply states that O2 are expected to launch their own broadband product in Autumn 2007. It launched 15/10/07.
The original MD of Bethere has also left and been replaced by an O2 person.
I suspect Samknows needs to update the source of its automated feed.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
^^^ explained far more politely than i would have bothered... good post :)
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
Obviously companies only put LLU into exchanges where they can make a profit.

What's the smallest exchange with LLU?

There will be many people with no hope of a LLU choice ever.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"There will be many people with no hope of a LLU choice ever."
Same can be said of high speed or even anything close to 8Mb from BT or anyone else... Well not for the probable next 10 years as BT decided on ADSL2+ over fibre.
Why should a LLU provider pay BT to get into a tiny exchange they will make no money from??
Its the same thing a LLU provider may not provide to the middle of know-where and BT only provide shocking speeds at non-reduced rates to the middle of know-where.
Posted by SamC over 9 years ago
Joneseylah - Please rest assured that the data is up to date. I spoke to O2 about the data feed only late last week. Thanks for reminding me that I need to update the notes section at the bottom of the Be page.

For what it's worth, it's not just Be that are slowing down; all of the major LLU players did very little in the final months of 2007 and January 2008.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
LLU coverage - 70% is pretty much the end of the line, some business LLU may reach to smaller exchanges if a large firm is putting a lot of business their way.
Posted by martinsaunders over 9 years ago
I personally doubt most LLU networks will expand much further now unless a few major things change:

1) Further consolidation between the major providers.

2) Different business plan like focusing on full-MPF voice and TV together.

3) Some fairly drastic reduction in the cost base of backhaul.

I still think backhaul costs are key in all this, and it's one of the things that I found so frustrating in my involvement in LLU was the dependency that practically everyone in the industry had on using expensive BT fiber to get out of the exchange...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I still find it amazing people moan about LLU coverage. Personally i think in the amount of time LLU services have been available they have done a great job of reaching the figures and amount of exchanges it is available from.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/i/156.html

First connections in 2001, of which Martin can probably tell everyone more.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
I am happy with current LLU coverage it would end up like BT wholesale if they spent silly money unbundling village exchanges.
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
re dependency on BT fiber. There are other suppliers like Virgin Media or C&W etc. I know an exchange where VM have dug up the road to reach. And radio links are an alternative.
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