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Unbundled (Non-BT / LLU) UK Lines To Exceed 1m
By: MarkJ - 03 November, 2006 (12:55 PM)

The Telecommunications adjudicator (OTA), Peter Black, has released his latest monthly (October) report on the status of UK local loop unbundling (LLU) - HERE. The precise figure of unhooked lines is not stated, but we do learn that the number will pass 1,000,000 within a few days!

During early 2006 it was boasted that unbundled UK lines could hit up to 3m by years end, a ridiculous claim (we felt). Roughly six months later the OTA finally figured this out and revised its target to 1m, which it is now pleased to boast about, albeit less of a success.

Meanwhile we continue to keep track of the statistics, although the 1m figure for this month should be considered an early 'estimate' since no precise number has been given:

Jan'06 = 250,000
Feb'06 = 300,000 (+50k)
Mar'06 = 360,000 (+60k)
Apr'06 = 420,000 (+60k)
May'06 = 471,000 (+51k)
Jun'06 = 580,000 (+109k)
Jul'06 = 673,000 (+93k)
Aug'06 = 735,000 (+62k)
Sep'06 = 850,000 (+115k)
Oct'06 = 1,000,000 Estimated (+150k)

The previous months update was also noteworthy for its scathing remarks about the problems within Openreach. Since then the OTA has attempted to enforce some change and accountability from BT, while the operator itself is busy boosting staff numbers. The current state of play is largely summarised below:

Migration problems for customers continue to be reported where the losing provider of service is based on LLU. OTA in conjunction with Ofcom and Openreach have set up and are coordinating a cross-industry plan involving LLU operators, IPStream Resellers and BT Wholesale to allow inter-product migrations to take place seamlessly.

Bulk Migration throughput volumes have stabilised in the last few weeks. Unfortunately RFT Delivery had deteriorated significantly; some recovery is evident in the last week. Openreach and OTA are very concerned; the problem may be down to particular Regions and Openreach are focussing remedial action on these Regions.

Backhaul Delivery performance has continued to improve and is very close to meeting agreed targets.

Comingling PoP delivery to CDD (Contracted Delivery Date) and CRD (Customer Required Date) have stabilised at a level which is significantly (i.e.10-15%) below the agreed targets. The primary root cause has been identified by Openreach and actions are in hand to remedy the situation accordingly.

We’d expect to see some tangible improvements before the end of 2006, with new staff helping clearance times and a greater focus on the problems producing higher quality. Three million lines are perhaps not impossible by the end of 2007, but that’s our own guesstimate.

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