Broadband News

September update on unbundling progress

The update for September 2006 from the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator has been published, and can be read here.

The update presents the upbeat news that LLU growth is continuing, with over 850,000 unbundled lines in the UK, which represents about 7.5% of the xDSL lines in the UK. Since LLU operators are still unbundling exchanges we can expect the number of LLU lines to continue to accelerate. At the start of 2005, there was just 50,000 unbundled lines in the UK.

Alas all is not well, as many of those with providers who are dabbling with unbundling are finding out. The Right First Time indicator still shows a high level of problems, 78% of existing lines that are unbundled for an xDSL service are up and running correctly the first time it is done, even worse when it is a totally new line the success rate falls to around 30%. The target for these parameters is 98%, the Adjudicator has noted the problems, and apparently remains sceptical over plans for these figures to improve. Part of the issue may be that on exchanges just unbundled that the staff doing the jumpering (moving line from BT kit to LLU kit) are less experienced than exchanges which have being unbundled for some time. It would be interesting to see the data presented in a form that may show whether this is the case.

Migration issues revolving around moving from or to an unbundled service are now entering the frame, and have been a matter of annoyance for visitors to our forums for some time. The first that many people are aware of being on an unbundled service is when things stop working, and their provider tells that they've been unbundled and resolving the fault will take longer than usual, these people then visit our forums and it emerges that either they missed the email from their ISP, or did not understand the phrase 'Alternate network supplier' is ISP speak for saying an unbundled service. We hope that Openreach, LLU operators and IPStream/DataStream providers will resolve their problems. Migration systems do exist, but many providers simply refuse the migration codes from those who are on an unbundled service.


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