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Is LLU take-up slowing down?
Tuesday 10 February 2009 15:09:47 by Andrew Ferguson

For sometime the growth in broadband has been slowing down, but the conversion from BT Wholesale IPStream and Datastream connections was continuing at a fast pace. The latest figures from the Telecommunications Adjudicator reveal a total of some 5,600,000 unbundled lines in the UK, which is a rise of 310,000 since October 2008. For basic telephone services the trend of wholesale line rental (WLR) increasing in popularity, and carrier pre-selection (CPS) waning continues.

When you consider that in August 2008, 87,000 new unbundled lines were added and that was considered a quiet month due to summer holidays, a rate of 103,000 per month for the last three months hints that demand for LLU services may be slowing.

Has the bundling juggernaut gone off the rails? Probably not, it is simply that most people who want broadband will now have it, and some of the remaining people on dial-up probably feel no need for it at home when they can do a little web browsing during their lunch break. The mobile broadband market is also making some headway in terms of a rapid growth particularly among those who use their broadband for just an hour or two a week. While there are some embracing the fact you do not need to have a traditional telephone line to use mobile broadband, the current usage restrictions and high costs mean mobile broadband dongles are often bought for use in addition to an existing ADSL/ADSL2+ or cable broadband service.

The January 2009 report from the adjudicator has no other surprises in it. For the average consumer the important part is that the adjudicator is continuing to push for adoption of its Best Practice Migration Guide. The guide, combined with Ofcom General Condition 22, should make migrations fairly painless and for the majority it has, alas there are still some providers who fall into dispute with suppliers and broadband customers end up getting the run around. Hopefully Ofcom itself will decide that enough is enough and come down hard on providers who play fast and loose with the rules.

Comments

Posted by _sjr_ over 8 years ago
I'm not surprised LLU migrations are slowing down, Be and Easynet don't appear to have announced any unbundling of new exchanges for ages now.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
I expect the bulk of any LLU growth is on O2 at present, SKY have had their surge as well as tiscali.
Posted by pje1979 over 8 years ago
Be and Sky haven't bothered with my exchange that has 25,000+ connections. If they're replicating that sort of stupidity nationwide then they're missing out on a lot of customers.
Posted by jelv over 8 years ago
_sjr_ Check out http://www.samknows.com/broadband/upcoming.php
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
most LLU takeup was through new exchanges allowing wholesale migration of customers or the availability of inclusive / reduced cost packages. Little was users specifically choosing LLU - look at Be's subscriber numbers.

Stop enabling exchanges and you stunt the growth.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
Meh, the market has reached saturation point thats all.
Posted by yellowhat over 8 years ago
I know its going to sound daft, but what is LLU?
Posted by cscsonline over 8 years ago
Local Loop Unbundling is when companies other than BT put their equipment into telephone exchanges
Posted by David-Park over 8 years ago
I on LLU with Be it is marvellous, not realized it is in limited places, surprised therefore we have it here as we were one of the last to get BB in the early days when they had to have 250 to promise.
Posted by frankconnolly over 8 years ago
If there are to be no more unbundled exchanges would someone tell Sky and Tiscali to stop advertising "free line rental" when they can't offer it?
Frank C
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
yellowhat: good resource here, but ignore the biogs...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LLU
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
@frankconnolly - Sky provide WLR line rental and if you are on the BT network then they can provide free line rental as it's just a re-sell of the BT line rental product - no LLU required. Fair enough if the haven't unbundled your exchange for BB but providing line rental shouldn't pose a problem (if that's all you are looking for)
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