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BT promises to improve local loop services for rivals

Ofcom acts...

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BT has been given permission by Ofcom to draft in extra engineers to help improve service levels at Openreach - the division charged with helping rival telcos get equipment into local exchanges.

The telco is bringing in 150 engineers from another division - BT is restricted by regulators to stop it unfairly favouring its own retail division. Local loop unbundling has been hit, BT says, by high levels of demand.

A spokeswoman for BT told the Reg: "Openreach has been experiencing problems with service levels. This allows us to allocate extra resources quickly. We are also asking Openreach engineers to work overtime and we're recruiting an extra 400 apprentices.

Unbundling is the process by which rival telcos put their own equipment into BT's local exchanges. BT engineers are then required to connect the kit to individual landlines. The process has long been seen as crucial to injecting real competition into the market but implementation has been slow.

The spokeswoman from BT predicted: "The level of resource should show in improved service levels in the next two months."®

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