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Postcode Lottery Strikes Orange Broadband ISP Users in Romsley UK

Posted: 13th Aug, 2009 By: MarkJ
A Romsley (Bromsgrove) resident has hit out after his ISP, Orange UK, issued a letter informing him that what he pays for broadband would soon increase by an extra £8.81 per month because of charges from BT for use of the village's exchange. The issue appears to have surfaced because the local exchange has not been unbundled ( LLU ) to offer the providers cheaper prices.

Resident, Stan Francis, told The Bromsgrove Standard:

"The Government says it wants everyone in the country to have broadband access and faster download speeds by 2012 - if this is the case, companies offering internet access need to be fairer with their prices. There are many exchanges around the country like the one we have in Romsley, which means a lot of people are going to be affected by these charges."

The defence that the exchange/line has not been unbundled is unfortunate but also quite common. It costs some ISPs a lot of money to unbundle an exchange and thus to make it economical they usually only target dense populations, such as built-up towns or cities; this ultimately allows them to offer cheaper services.

By comparison BT are required to deliver a broadband service to almost the entire country (99.8% if you believe the current statistics), which makes their services more expensive to run and naturally more costly for the consumer. The end result is a kind of postcode lottery of markets, where some areas are more expensive than others.

However the above news appears to suggest that Romsley residents were actually paying LESS prior to Orange's notification, which doesn't make sense. The exchange was never unbundled in the first place, thus residents should have been paying a higher price from day one. This casts a degree of doubt upon both Orange and BT and we are currently contacting them in the hope of clarification.
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