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UK LLU improving says Telecoms Adjudicator

'Bout bloody time too

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BT is showing signs that it is beginning to co-operate with rival operators as they look to provide broadband services direct to end users.

The latest update from the Telecommunications Adjudicator shows that BT has pulled up its socks and stopped dragging its feet quite so much over local loop unbundling (LLU) - the process that enables rival companies to provide telecoms services direct to end users by-passing BT.

The former monopoly's track record of preparing exchanges ready to house kit from operators has improved recently, with 85 per cent of exchanges ready for telcos on time. The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA) says this as an "excellent performance improvement", although by the end of March BT's "Plan & Build" target should be 98 per cent.

Ensuring that LLU installations work first time and on time is also improving with "Right First Time (RFT)" end user delivery standing at around 75 per cent. Although this is still behind target, said the OTA, it's still improving.

BTmay be more responsive to the needs of rival operators, but the OTA is also dealing with a dispute lodged by Bulldog Communications concerning fault repair times. The Cable & Wireless-owned operator claims that BT repairs faults on its own lines more quickly than it does for competitors and has called on the OTA to intervene.

Despite this recent blot on BT's copybook, the latest update is a marked turnaround compared to late last year. In November, the OTA reported that LLU wasdogged by difficulties.

While some significant milestones had been passed, take-up of unbundled lines continues to disappoint and "significant operational problems remain", said the adjudicator at the time.

At the end of February there were around 36,000 unbundled lines in the UK. ®

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