O2 to restrict broadband availability
O2 may not extend its LLU broadband reach beyond the current commitments of Be's roll out to try and help keep costs down. O2 purchased Be for £50m last year and their current coverage is estimated at about half the UK population. This announcement by O2 follows a further delay to the service launch which was originally expected in Spring. For the areas not in reach of the Be enabled exchanges, a wholesale agreement has been signed with BT to enable further coverage, but the service is not expected to be available nationwide.
It is unknown as yet whether there will be price parity between those in the Be enabled areas and those connected by BT. Rivals TalkTalk charge an extra £15 to customers connected through BT and not directly to their own network, whilst Sky charge an extra £12 if connected using BT. O2 are expected to launch through its chain of retails stores to help target the geographical areas where its unbundled service is available. More information in The Guardian.