Updata inks LLU deal with Dorset

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Local loop operators Updata has won yet another public sector contract to provide unbundled high speed services to the public sector.

The Reigate-based company struck a £4.7m deal with Dorset County Council to provide a managed DSL broadband service for up to 29 of Dorset's 75 exchanges.

The five-year contract will provide symmetrical DSL services (SDSL) at speeds of between 2 and 10 Meg to 243 council buildings, including 193 schools and 34 libraries, in the first year. More than 100 additional council buildings have been earmarked for connection in the following year. Small businesses in broadband blackspots will also be able to hook to the service.

Updata has now unbundled - or is in the process of unbundling - 70 exchanges across the country under eight public sector projects including agreements with Bedfordshire, North Somerset and Pembrokeshire. According to its own projections, it should have unbundled around 100 exchanges by late summer.

Updata director Vic Baldorino said that LLU - the process that enables rival companies to provide telecoms services direct to end users by-passing BT - is getting easier.

"When we first started we were confronted by a lot of red tape," he said. "But now we have a good working relationship with BT."

Exchanges are ready for hand-over within two or three months and costs have come down. While 80 per cent of the LLU process is working, the rest still needs refining, he said.

Baldorino's comments support the latest assessment by the UK's telecoms adjudicator which said that LLU in the UK is improving. ®

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