Broadband News

Is LLU take-up slowing down?

For sometime the growth in broadband has been slowing down, but the conversion from BT Wholesale IPStream and Datastream connections was continuing at a fast pace. The latest figures from the Telecommunications Adjudicator reveal a total of some 5,600,000 unbundled lines in the UK, which is a rise of 310,000 since October 2008. For basic telephone services the trend of wholesale line rental (WLR) increasing in popularity, and carrier pre-selection (CPS) waning continues.

When you consider that in August 2008, 87,000 new unbundled lines were added and that was considered a quiet month due to summer holidays, a rate of 103,000 per month for the last three months hints that demand for LLU services may be slowing.

Has the bundling juggernaut gone off the rails? Probably not, it is simply that most people who want broadband will now have it, and some of the remaining people on dial-up probably feel no need for it at home when they can do a little web browsing during their lunch break. The mobile broadband market is also making some headway in terms of a rapid growth particularly among those who use their broadband for just an hour or two a week. While there are some embracing the fact you do not need to have a traditional telephone line to use mobile broadband, the current usage restrictions and high costs mean mobile broadband dongles are often bought for use in addition to an existing ADSL/ADSL2+ or cable broadband service.

The January 2009 report from the adjudicator has no other surprises in it. For the average consumer the important part is that the adjudicator is continuing to push for adoption of its Best Practice Migration Guide. The guide, combined with Ofcom General Condition 22, should make migrations fairly painless and for the majority it has, alas there are still some providers who fall into dispute with suppliers and broadband customers end up getting the run around. Hopefully Ofcom itself will decide that enough is enough and come down hard on providers who play fast and loose with the rules.


I'm not surprised LLU migrations are slowing down, Be and Easynet don't appear to have announced any unbundling of new exchanges for ages now.

  • _sjr_
  • over 12 years ago

I expect the bulk of any LLU growth is on O2 at present, SKY have had their surge as well as tiscali.

  • chrysalis
  • over 12 years ago

Be and Sky haven't bothered with my exchange that has 25,000+ connections. If they're replicating that sort of stupidity nationwide then they're missing out on a lot of customers.

  • pje1979
  • over 12 years ago

_sjr_ Check out

  • jelv
  • over 12 years ago

most LLU takeup was through new exchanges allowing wholesale migration of customers or the availability of inclusive / reduced cost packages. Little was users specifically choosing LLU - look at Be's subscriber numbers.

Stop enabling exchanges and you stunt the growth.

  • herdwick
  • over 12 years ago

Meh, the market has reached saturation point thats all.

  • Spectre_01
  • over 12 years ago

I know its going to sound daft, but what is LLU?

  • yellowhat
  • over 12 years ago

Local Loop Unbundling is when companies other than BT put their equipment into telephone exchanges

  • cscsonline
  • over 12 years ago

I on LLU with Be it is marvellous, not realized it is in limited places, surprised therefore we have it here as we were one of the last to get BB in the early days when they had to have 250 to promise.

  • David-Park
  • over 12 years ago

If there are to be no more unbundled exchanges would someone tell Sky and Tiscali to stop advertising "free line rental" when they can't offer it?
Frank C

  • frankconnolly
  • over 12 years ago

yellowhat: good resource here, but ignore the biogs...

  • comnut
  • over 12 years ago

@frankconnolly - Sky provide WLR line rental and if you are on the BT network then they can provide free line rental as it's just a re-sell of the BT line rental product - no LLU required. Fair enough if the haven't unbundled your exchange for BB but providing line rental shouldn't pose a problem (if that's all you are looking for)

  • CaptainW
  • over 12 years ago

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