The monthly figures from the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator for March 2008 are now available. The headline numbers are that the UK has 4,299,000 unbundled lines, with some 4,670,000 lines using a Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) product and 5,850,000 using Carrier Pre-Selection (CPS).
Interestingly the number of LLU and WLR lines has climbed significantly since December 2007 but the number using CPS has dropped by around 40,000. The most likely explanation is people switching from a calls provider to a calls and line rental provider. The report does not provide a split between the number of shared LLU and full LLU lines. Full LLU is where the communications provider unbundles both the voice and broadband parts of a telephone line. The largest provider using full LLU is Talk Talk, some providers such as Sky Broadband use shared LLU and a WLR product to provide the line rental element currently.
The update for March 2008 shows that discussion on sub-loop unbundling is ongoing, but it appears those providers interested in it are now at a stage where they may be able to move forward and put together their investment plans to see if the money men are happy to pay for a product roll-out.
The new Migrations Code Of Practice is now expected to be published publicly in April 2008 and is designed to be an authoritative guide and reference manual for migrating around the myriad of telephone/broadband products that now exist in the UK. This guide is very much needed as people and broadband providers seem to often get confused over the differences between full and shared LLU.