Watchdog warns on slippage in line-unbundling

The watchdog overseeing local loop unbundling – the scheme that enables telecoms operators to install their own equipment at BT exchanges – has warned that delivery of unbundled lines is failing to meet quality targets.

The watchdog overseeing local loop unbundling – the scheme that enables telecoms operators to install their own equipment at BT exchanges – has warned that delivery of unbundled lines is failing to meet quality targets.

The telecommunications adjudicator Peter Black announced that more than 735,000 lines have now been unbundled.

But in his August report, he added that there was “ongoing concern” that the on-schedule delivery of “Business as Usual” (BAU) unbundled lines – those that do not require high levels of extra intervention – was continuing to “deviate from planned quality levels”.

He added, “This is particularly worrying as the BAU lines have not yet met their planned quality targets.”

Openreach – the BT subsidiary responsible for the lines that connect individual businesses and homes to telecom operators’ national networks – was continuing to push an improvement plan that its managing director, John Small, believed would address the problems, Black said.

But the watchdog added, “However, significant improvement has so far failed to materialise. Small has targeted September for a significant improvement in delivery quality.”

Bulk migrations had also dropped in the past few weeks, Black said, primarily due to specific systems, process and infrastructure problems “owned by” Openreach and various telecoms providers.

But most of these problems had been resolved and throughput was expected to increase significantly from early September onwards.

 

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