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Easynet commits to more LLU investment

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Easynet is upping its investment in local loop unbundling (LLU) following BT's recent announcement that it intends to give wholesale broadband competition a chance to thrive.

Easynet plans to unbundle a further 100 exchanges taking the total number of LLU sites to 350 - capable of hooking up 5.8m homes and 850,000 businesses in the UK.

And Easynet has also revealed that its ISP UK Online - which up until now has been shy about revealing customer numbers - has also signed up 10,000 punters to its LLU service.

Said Easynet chief exec David Rowe: "We are pleased with the progress that Ofcom is making in supporting the local loop market in the UK.

"We have also seen strong progress in our own plans to develop our consumer broadband proposition, UK Online, and our wholesale broadband proposition, LLUStream.

"To support these initiatives we are investing additional funds (capital and operating expenditure) in order to significantly enhance capability in these areas to cater for expected additional demand."

Easynet's apparent optimism follows an announcement by BT that it is committed to make LLU work in the UK. As part of that pledge it will not cut charges for its wholesale broadband products until there are 1.5m unbundled lines in the UK.

The move is designed to give LLU - the process by which rival operators install their own kit in BT exchanges to provide telecoms services direct to end users - a fighting chance of becoming an established source of competition. With around 70,000 unbundled lines in the UK at the moment, the proposal put forward by regulator Ofcom should give the UK's telecoms industry enough room to invest in LLU and to gain enough customers before facing competitive pressure from BT.

Yesterday new kid on the block ISP "Be" announced plans to offer 24 meg broadband as part of its plans to invest in LLU. ®

Related stories

New LLU ISP to offer 24meg broadband
Ofcom shames BT
Ofcom releases details of BT settlement
BT agrees to give LLU chance to thrive
BT still needs to be policed, says industry
BT bows to Ofcom pressure
BT escapes threat of immediate break-up

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