BT fingered by own LLU plans

Why aren't we surprised?

The sorry saga of local loop unbundling (LLU) took another turn for the worse today after the Times reported that more than a third of Britain's population will be without broadband services because they live in "deadzones".

The leaked BT document identifies Cornwall, Wales, the North East, North West, Scotland and Northern Ireland as potential trouble spots where, for technical and commercial reasons, broadband ADSL services are unlikely to be introduced.

If the report were accurate, some 23 million people - a smidge under 40 per cent of the population - would be outside the catchment area for ADSL services.

A spokesman for the monster telco told the newspaper that the leaked document portrayed a "pessimistic" view of things.

BT's line to date has been that ADSL could be rolled out to some 80 per cent of the UK population, although such deployment would take time. A BT insider has confirmed that the telco is looking at other ways - such as satellite services - to deliver broadband services.

Elsewhere, the FT reported that Oftel officials have attempted to amend proposed legislation forcing ahead LLU across Europe.

The new amendment scraps a December 31 2000 deadline for introducing LLU with a wishy-washy "reasonable timescale".

A spokeswoman for Oftel said she was unaware that such an amendment had been tabled. ®

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