Local loop unbundling continues to grow, even if the rate is a little slower than previously. The latest figures from the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator tell us that the UK had some 6.01 million unbundled lines at the end of July 2009. When you consider that the UK had in total just six million broadband lines at the end of 2004, you can see how much the market has changed in five years. The total number of broadband connections in the UK currently is around 18 million.
The popularity of Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) continues to increase with 6.09 million lines where people have chosen to move their voice line rental away from BT Retail to another provider. A lot of these people appear to be people who previously had a calls only (CPS) package as the number using CPS has dropped to 3.9 million.
While complaining about the state of UK broadband is an easy topic, when you consider that winter 2004/2005 saw news on BT announcing 21 exchanges for its up to 8Meg trials, you can see how far we have come. The Home 500 product was still the most common service, to the extent we still ran a monthly speed round-up at that time. A few providers using unbundled offered faster speeds, but at that time France had ASDL2+ for €30 a month.