January update from Telecommunications Adjudicator
There are now 1.5 million unbundled lines, which accounts for around 11.5% of the broadband lines in the UK. The January report from the Telecommunications Adjudicator expands on this to cover areas as performance and forthcoming changes to the migration processes. The full report can be read at www.offta.org.uk.
Unbundling tends carry an impression of a high number of faults, and to that end the statistics seem to show things are improving with bulk migrations of lines to a shared unbundled line (shared means the voice side remains with the customers existing voice line rental company) being completed right first time around 96% of the time. Unfortunately for those companies and people opting for a fully unbundled service (telephone and broadband moved to new provider) the statistics, while improving, are still poor with only around 30% of new lines being done right the first time.
One area that is increasing is people moving back off of a LLU (local loop unbundled) service, and migrations in this area are far from smooth as yet. The changes to migration practices planned for February 2007 should help in this area, three key milestones being:
- Creation of processes that work smoothly, and ensuring broadband providers use them
- Ensuring platform interfacing Openreach with providers is stable and everyone is using it
- Broadband providers providing consistent and accurate advice to customers looking to migrate
This last point is very important, as migrating away from an LLU service has been possible for some time, but some providers say you can't do it, or refuse to issue the migration code. Even when you have a code, some providers refuse to accept it.
The changes to the migration processes on February 14th were detailed back in December 2006. We hope that all broadband providers are aware of the changes and have started to ensure all staff who deal with customers are updated, and that systems will be in place to meet the requirements. As always there is going to be a period of a few weeks where some confusion reigns, but hopefully once this is over those providers not complying will be taken to task publicly as a warning to the industry.