Energis decides LLU is uneconomic
The Register has the news that Energis is scaling back its LLU plans, or canceling them all together. It is believed that Energis would be the ones providing Wanadoo with LLU in 2005. The prospect of another large player entering the LLU market had until now suggested that LLU was set for the start of a golden period in 2005. Alas now it seems that NTL and Bulldog are largely going to be going it alone.
The prices for the BT components of a LLU service have steadily decreased, but you are still looking at around £100,000 to £150,000 per exchange if you want to offer services to around 500 lines, and there is still the monthly copper line rental to be paid, and other costs, e.g. staff, advertising etc. NTL look set to make the most of their LLU roll-out by offering TV/telephone/Internet services, and Bulldog have their combined telephony/Internet packages. HomeChoice also figure, though as yet no large plans have been announced for 100's of exchanges to be enabled in 2005.
There is the chance that Energis may still invest in LLU, but not on a national scale, i.e. they would very carefully cherry pick exchanges to ensure a rapid return on investment. In theory BT Retail may be an entrant to the LLU arena, but this is very likely to be either brainstorming that has gone public, or political posturing so that BT Retail can get its way, inside the BT Group. All we know for sure, is that 2005 should still see LLU coverage that matches the original ADSL roll-out from BT Wholesale back in 2000.