Feeds

Freeserve ‘committed’ to unbundling local loop

Wants to 'sever reliance on BT' for broadband

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Freeserve is prepared to put its full weight - and the financial muscle of its parent, Wanadoo - behind local loop unbundling (LLU) in a bid sever the ISP's reliance on BT for broadband.

The Register has learnt that Freeserve is so committed to the idea that it could even be in the market to buy an operator - or at least enter a joint venture with a telecoms partner - to make LLU work.

A senior spokesman for the ISP declined to be drawn on these market whispers. But he did confirm that Freeserve is convinced that LLU - which enables rival operators to provide telecoms services direct to end users - is the way forward if the UK wants effective broadband competition.

This was confirmed in a letter to the Trade and Industry Select Committee (TISC), which earlier this week published its report into the UK's broadband market.

Wrote Freeserve General Counsel David Melville: "Freeserve, with over 2.6 million subscribers, would be prepared to invest in LLU provided access costs significantly decrease in line with the rest of Europe."

A senior spokesman for the ISP denied this was an exercise in "kite flying", insisting that LLU, which has been branded a failure in the UK, was a strategic issue and something it took seriously.

According to Freeserve, one of the reasons why the UK only has around 8,000 unbundled lines (compared to 300,000 in France) is that the cost of LLU is simply too high in the UK.

In Europe, the average set-up fee for a fully unbundled line is €60 while monthly fees are just €11. In the UK, though, the set-up fee is more than double at €126, while monthly fees are €15.

If the cost of LLU can be cut, and if safeguards are put in place to ensure that BT would be able to handle the mass-market roll-out of LLU, then Freeserve insists it is prepared to make the necessary investment.

No doubt it hopes Ofcom will share its view when the communications regulator carries out a review of LLU later this year.

Earlier this week, a parliamentary report found that the UK did not have effective competition in the broadband market. Freeserve believes LLU would address that imbalance.

A senior spokesman for Freeserve told The Register: "It is impossible to compete with BT when BT controls the entire network. LLU will allow us to sever our reliance on BT."

Earlier this month, Freeserve said that the ISP was planning to make a big push for broadband in 2004. "This is the year for broadband for us - we're going for it," said a spokesman. ®

Related Stories

UK held back by 'lack of broadband competition'
Freeserve gears up for major broadband push

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.