Broadband News

LLU broadband passes six million mark

Local loop unbundling continues to grow, even if the rate is a little slower than previously. The latest figures from the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator tell us that the UK had some 6.01 million unbundled lines at the end of July 2009. When you consider that the UK had in total just six million broadband lines at the end of 2004, you can see how much the market has changed in five years. The total number of broadband connections in the UK currently is around 18 million.

The popularity of Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) continues to increase with 6.09 million lines where people have chosen to move their voice line rental away from BT Retail to another provider. A lot of these people appear to be people who previously had a calls only (CPS) package as the number using CPS has dropped to 3.9 million.

While complaining about the state of UK broadband is an easy topic, when you consider that winter 2004/2005 saw news on BT announcing 21 exchanges for its up to 8Meg trials, you can see how far we have come. The Home 500 product was still the most common service, to the extent we still ran a monthly speed round-up at that time. A few providers using unbundled offered faster speeds, but at that time France had ASDL2+ for €30 a month.

Comments

4/5 years to go from 2Mbit/s to an average of 6-8Mbit/s?

That's not exactly great progress...

  • fusen
  • over 7 years ago

The average is closer to 3-4Mbit/s.

  • s0nic
  • over 7 years ago

5 years ago given the number of narrowband users, it wasn't close to 2Mbit average either.

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 7 years ago

And what about those of us who just happen to be connected to small exchanges? In my case Sowton (with around 1000 users) rather than the main Exeter one (~30000 users). Apparently there's no prospect at all of LLU extending to us so no access whatsoever to the best speeds or price deals.

  • phil917k
  • over 7 years ago

Are not the LLU numbers just a proxy for an underlying demand for 24x7 converged connectivity.

That we are still discussing WLR (Voice) and not driving for better data connectivity is a bit peculiar.

  • mikeblogs
  • over 7 years ago

The LLU numbers are a proxy for the subscriptions to free/low cost/bundled services where they are looking to minimimse costs. The number of "user chooser" LLU users after specific technical benefits is probably quite small - how many Talk Talk users would fit into this category, for example.

  • herdwick
  • over 7 years ago

The number of "user chooser" LLU users after specific technical benefits is probably quite small

Very debatable considering the headline speeds of LLU offerings.

  • whatever2
  • over 7 years ago

Talk Talk, Orange, Tiscali LLU are all up to 8M. How many Sky customers took anything other than the free 2M offer etc etc. I would say at least 5 out of the 6m are there through price or bundling rather than any technical consideration.

  • herdwick
  • over 7 years ago

@ herdwick: Sky's FREE Base service - taken by (from memory from results) 40% - I could be making this up as I'm thinking about the question that was asked by an investor during their results to the city 4 months ago on not this set of results, but 3 months before.

As I say - I could be wrong.

  • CaptainW
  • over 7 years ago

@herdwick

TalkTalk does a speed boost, to get the 'up to' 24Mbps speeds.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

I thnk that the majority of LLU connections are the result of reduced pricing/bundling but it's only an impression I have. I haven't seen any statistics and don't really know where you'd get them from.

My main reason for assuming this is that in the vast majority of 'What ISP?' threads price is the number one consideration. Even if they claim speed is most important it often turns out that it isn't.

It's something that has long irked me about BB in this country - there's too much concentration on price.

  • AndrueC
  • over 7 years ago

no doubt a large chunk of LLU is due to price, but I wouldnt wite off those moving for technical reasons, I expect it is still a significant amount, and it will only increase with now aaisp the latest BTw customer looking at LLU options.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

Well I moved to Be in order to escape Nildram because they were taken over by Pipex who at the time were about to be taken over by Tiscali. I've never regretted it :)

  • AndrueC
  • over 7 years ago

The GPO was able to offer sufficient bandwidth over copper wires for full definition analogue TV outside broadcasts in 1937 - 3MHz. With care a digital line could yield 10MHz but BT has lost the knowhow, ability and will to do this.
The truth is that with BT's dominant position, in spite of unbundling, we will never see a proper digital network.
Also, remember the contention ratio of 50 - 7 years ago Singapore and Taiwan had fast coverage with a contention ratio of 20.
BT's speed tester is designed bto "cook the books" by waiting for a little-contended moment before its test.

  • Middlefield
  • over 7 years ago

Middlfield incorrect in your assumption that GPO had 3MHz over copper.The cable was a coaxial cable, on a main trunk route! Fact

  • nevillec
  • over 7 years ago

Nevillec is right. Only large busineses (ie BBC, TV companies, banks, etc, could afford such conditioned lines,on coaxial (or polyquad)cable, as they were specially provided. They were used for baseband analogue TV and would have cost hundreds of pounds a month. In any event, 3MHz analogue is not the same as 3Mbit/s digital.

  • donjay
  • over 7 years ago

My ISP tells me my exchange is labelled 'LLU Never'. An adjacent exchange is LLU. I am just out of a 12month contract & my ISP would like to (I am waiting for the news any time soon) increase my mnthly fee by 50%. If I lived in the LLU catchment my ISP would reduce my fee by 50%. If my ISP succeeds I will be paying 300% more than LLU delivered service.

AndrueC suggests price concentration is irksome. My message to AndrueC is try living on an income where every penny has to count. It is very irksome to the person faced with such differentials. Another example of post code lottery.

  • BBSlowcoach
  • over 7 years ago

So change ISP. And check to see who else may have unbundled your exchange on SamKnows.

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 7 years ago

Dawn, Thank you but I had already checked. BT retains a monopoly over the exchange. Moving back to them would triple my existing price. I know BT are in need but I am not that charitable towards them. This is the reality of 'non-urban' exchanges.

  • BBSlowcoach
  • over 7 years ago

Um, BT wholesale might remain your only option, but you have a wide choice of ISP's on the retail side.

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 7 years ago

Yes Dawn I agree with you but their starting prices appear to be at and often above the price my existing ISP wants to raise me to.

The pit has no escape I fear.

  • BBSlowcoach
  • over 7 years ago

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