Cease charges under review by Openreach
Providers using the LLU processes should by now have been sent a briefing from Openreach detailing the impact of yesterdays announcement that the £33.75 plus VAT charge for ceasing a LLU broadband service was to be dropped. The briefing can be found online at www.btinterconnect.com.
The main point to be taken from this briefing is that the dropping of the charge is temporary for a period of one month. The charge itself relates to the removal of a connection from a providers own xDSL hardware at the exchange, and is only raised if you terminate your ADSL connection e.g. by moving house, or if your broadband provider terminates your service due to non payment of bills. What many may not realise is that while the briefing talks about LLU MPF (Metallic Path Facility) and SMPF (shared MPF), it does affect BT Wholesale based IPstream and Datastream products as these are handled as a LLU SMPF connection by Openreach. BT Wholesale only started charging providers who use its services in its last round of price changes that came into effect on the 1st May 2007, as yet there is no indication what action BT Wholesale will be taking.
The latest briefing indicates that by 10th June 2007 we should know what the new price will be. This new price should be lower than the existing £33.75 charge since Openreach will allow a provider to stop a connection with the physical connections left in place, with a further order being made to actually physically remove the connections.
For the average broadband user nothing has changed yet, the next few days should hopefully see more news from BT Wholesale on the immediate change, followed by further announcements once the new charge is formally announced. If the new charge is low enough, we may see a lot more providers absorb it as part of the original activation charge.
Update 11/05/07: BT Wholesale have announced that they will pass on the Openreach price reductions to the service providers using their IPStream and DataStream services. Users should still note that this does not guarantee that they will not be charged for cancellation of a broadband service. We re-iterate that from 10th June, the price will go back up, to £33.75 or any other price which is set by Openreach (which we expect to be lower).