LLU - will everyone rise to the challenge in 2005
The Register has been talking to Peter Black, who is the independent Telecoms Adjudicator, whose task it is to get LLU running smoothly.
Mr Black points out that significant milestones have already been reached, but warns that there are still operational problems ahead. The sort of problem, can easily be seen if one looks at the predictions for LLU take-up and capacity in 2005, from the current 24,000 lines, to around 50,000 lines in January 2005, 250,000 lines by June and one million lines a year later. The fears are that BT may not have the capabilities to handle such a rapid growth in demand. The existing BT Wholesale ADSL roll-out and the demand for that is putting a strain on various parts of the system, and the BT staff can only stretch so far.
The problems do not all lie at BTs feet, many LLU providers will be making the switch from low volume business sales to the high volume low margin retail market, but many consumers will see LLU services as a premium product and expect that level of service. If we do see something approaching one million LLU lines in 12 to 18 months time, then that will be a large achievement, and will actually be a higher take-up rate, than the original ADSL roll-out in the UK.