The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator whose role is to ensure that the various communication providers can benefit from equal access to Openreach resources have released their latest update for September which reveals that the number of unbundled lines continues to grow, now standing at 7.14 million. The split between the two flavours of unbundled lines has just just changed with full LLU exceeding the number of shared LLU lines for the first time.
Full local loop unbundling (MPF) involves disconnecting both the telephone and broadband from BT hardware at the local exchange and connecting it to another communications provider, e.g. TalkTalk. Shared LLU (SMPF) leaves the voice part of the telephone line connected to BT hardware (leaving the option of CPS and WLR) and just connects the broadband to a third parties hardware, e.g. O2. This switch in the share may partly be due to Sky who up until recently used shared LLU exclusively and are now starting to use full LLU where customers take the full line rental and broadband bundle.
The pedantic may point out that at the Openreach level even BT Wholesale IPStream/21CN DSL services are considered shared LLU (SMPF). The OTA figures focus on the numbers where the line has shifted to a non-BT group firm.
For lines with no unbundling, some 6.13 million have opted for a wholesale line rental (WLR), where the voice line rental is paid to another phone company. CPS (carrier pre-selection) leaves your line rental with BT but calls are routed and billed by a third party. A warning for those taking CPS deals, BT Retail line rental includes a clause where for some features such as caller id if less than 2 chargeable calls are made on the line, a surcharge of £1.50 is added to the monthly bill.
Posters on our forums, have had various complaints about long fault repair times, and this is reflected in the metrics recorded by the OTA, but while things are heading back towards normal, things are not expected to be return to usual service levels until around mid-November.