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Openreach cuts wholesale broadband charges

Shot in the arm for local loop unbundling

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BT has cut the cost of migrating end users onto unbundled networks in a move designed to give LLU yet another shot in the arm.

Openreach - BT's standalone access services division set up earlier this year - said the new pricing would make it cheaper for local loop unbundling (LLU) operators to move their customers from BT wholesale broadband products to unbundled services.

The new price of £25.39 (excluding VAT) kicks off on 1 July and will apply to LLU operators who bulk-migrate their existing IPstream or Datastream end-customers to shared LLU lines.

Openreach also announced it plans to introduce a new bulk migration product enabling LLU operators to shunt their existing Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) punters to full LLU. Priced at £27.54 (ex VAT), the figure for bulk migration is 21 per cent less than the price for migrating a single user.

And for an extra 49p (ex VAT) WLR will also enable users to take their phone number with them when they move to LLU.

"This pricing reduction, along with the introduction of a new mass migration product and the ability to transfer a customer's telephone number, will make it simpler for customers to move between operators," Openreach exec Anne Heal said. "This announcement will give industry additional certainty and the confidence to invest in LLU and further stimulate market growth."

According to the latest figures, almost half a million phone lines have been unbundled in the UK. The latest monthly report from the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA) reveals that the number of unbundled lines now stands at more than 471,000 with numbers growing every week. ®

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