Feeds

Orange re-bundles broadband

It's the new unbundling

Boost IT visibility and business value

Orange is to give up running its own broadband network, and will rebundle its service to leave BT Wholesale to compete with itself.

Orange will hand over its existing infrastructure to BT Wholesale, and will continue to operate as a bundled broadband provider in the same mould as Vodafone, Tesco and the dozen or so other ISPs that resell BT's connectivity.

For years the internet service providers fought with BT for access to the local exchanges so they could fit their own ADSL connections. Unlike the previous generation of modems, which could connect a customer directly from their home to the ISP's offices, ADSL can only connect the user to the local exchange, and as long as BT had the keys to that exchange no-one else could sell ADSL.

The process of permitting other ISPs into the exchange is known as "Local Loop Unbundling", and these days the keys to the exchanges are owned by BT OpenReach, and almost every exchange in the UK is now open to other ISPs. In fact many exchanges remain exclusive to BT Wholesale for economic reasons - only BT has the necessary scale.

Orange isn't the first company to decide that duplicating the kit isn't worthwhile. Most operators unbundle the more-popular exchanges then resell BT everywhere else.

Unbundling does give the ISP compete control of the connection which can be useful for premium services. TalkTalk, for example, only offers its TV service on unbundled exchanges, where it can guarantee the bandwidth, but that needs an economy of scale that Orange can't replicate.

Orange's UK broadband offering has been in decline for years, and the company told The Times that "We are not satisfied with where we stand with broadband, as our customer base is declining and our performance is poor. But we need to remain in fixed-line broadband so decided to fundamentally change what we are doing".

With Orange in the process of merging with T-Mobile it makes sense to clear up the peripheral operations - T-Mobile doesn't offer ADSL in the UK, so T-Orange (or whatever it decides to call itself) will be free to resell BT Wholesale's service under it's shiny new brand. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.