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UK LLU still facing difficulties

'Operational problems persist'

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The number of unbundled phone lines in the UK has topped 100,000, according to the latest stats available.

In his latest update Telecoms Adjudicator Peter Black said that the number of lines unhooked from BT's network and rewired to a rival telco now stands at 105,00 with numbers growing by 4,000 a week.

Local loop unbundling (LLU) - which involves telcos installing their kit in BT exchanges to provide services direct to end users - is regarded as a key way to increase competition in the industry leading to lower prices and improved services.

Even though the pace of LLU is increasing, the Telecoms Adjudicator notes that the process - which is complex - is still facing difficulties.

Said Black: "The operational problems reported last month continue to persist. The Right First Time KPI [key performance indicator] continues to be negatively impacted due to provisioning problems particularly in the 'New Line' category.

"There has also been an overall deterioration in the quality of delivery. BT and the LLU operators continue to give this highest priority," he wrote.

This dip in the KPI suggests that there continues to be difficulties supplying unbundled lines to end users although since the data includes failings from BT and LLU operators, it's difficult to understand exactly where the blame lies.

Bulldog - the Cable & Wireless (C&W) LLU operator facing an Ofcom investigation following hundreds of complaints about its service - appears to have its own view on that.

Asked to comment on Black's findings, a Bulldog spokeswoman said: "Bulldog welcomes the assessment of the issues as outlined by the industry adjudicator. We hope to see an improvement in BT's performance in the near future." ®

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