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UK LLU roll-out 'continues to lag'

But BT insists it's 'committed' to unbundling

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The failure of BT to hit key performance targets for local loop unbundling (LLU) is still frustrating operators keen to invest in advanced telecoms services. The problem is so bad that some operators are putting their marketing plans on hold while BT gets its house in order.

And this, from an incumbent telco that brags about showing a "willingness over the years to work constructively with industry" and insisting that it has an "excellent track record of compliance with its regulatory obligations".

However, telecoms adjudicator Peter Black reports in his latest update on the progress of LLU that "overall delivery performance continues to lag the KPIs this is inhibiting some marketing plans causing slower take up than expected", despite BT increasing the number of staff working on LLU.

He goes on: "I reported previously that significant operational problems remain but most operators were seeing improvements. These improvements, whilst trending in the right direction, are somewhat variable from week to week. This is due to a number of factors, not least the legacy systems, legacy processes, manual processes and manual interventions necessary by BT and LLUOs [LLU operators]. This has been frustrating the industry's ability to hit the KPIs we collectively set."

In particular, the unbundling of telecoms lines are only "Right First Time" is way off the mark and only meets customers' expectations anywhere between 50 - 60 per cent of the time. Yet the target set was that lines should be unbundled correctly first time 75 per cent of the time by February 2005 and rising to 85 per cent "in the near future".

So far, 31,000 lines have been unbundled - well short of the 50,000 target set.

Although 14 companies are showing "encouraging signs of investment commitment", regulator Ofcom accepts that LLU operators "continue to experience operational problems and variable delivery performance is inhibiting operators' marketing plans". ®

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LLU dogged by 'significant operational problems'
BT gutted at Ofcom's 'prolonged misbehaviour' allegations
BT DSL price cut undermines LLU competition
Ofcom orders BT price cuts for broadband rivals

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