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Telefónica UK ditches narrowband

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Telefónica UK is to stop providing wholesale narrowband services to ISPs because of dwindling demand from end users. Instead, the UK subsidiary of the Spanish telco intends to focus on the provision of broadband services to the ISP and corporate marketplace.

From 16 December Telefónica UK will no longer supply unmetered and dial-up wholesale narrowband services. Some 20 ISPs affected by the changes have been told of the decision. They can either source their wholesale narrowband services from a provider working with Telefónica to manage the switchover or opt for another outfit.

Telefónica declined to say which operator it is working with to provide an alternative service, which ISPs need to find an alternative supplier and how many end users are affected, although it's understood to run into "thousands". Instead, it said in a statement: "All clients affected by this change have been made aware of the circumstances and Telefónica UK is working closely with them to ensure a smooth transition and minimal disruption to their businesses."

The decision to ditch dial-up was made due to the continuing fall in demand for wholesale narrowband services as more and more people hook up to broadband. Telefónica also signalled its interest in providing unbundled wholesale services following. Said chief exec Andrew Peters: "For Telefónica UK, the future for wholesale services lies in broadband, particularly the creation and delivery of wholesale broadband services, which ensure ISPs can extend their offerings.

"We are committed to creating wholesale broadband services, and are actively pursuing a number of options that will allow ISPs to have more flexibility and choice on network sourcing, including those arising from the more favourable climate for LLU in the UK," he added. ®

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