UK Broadband LLU Number Reaches 6 Million Says Ofcom

The telecommunication watchdog, Ofcom, has revealed that the number of unbundled lines in the UK broadband segment has reached six million.

This is a huge improvement over the 123,000 lines that were unbundled back in September 2005 - nearly four years ago - when BT was made legally responsible to allow competing telecommunication companies like Sky or Taltalk to offer their services over BT's copper lines.

BT spun a new company called Openreach which provides technical support to its rivals, turning BT into a broadband wholesaler. This has helped slash the cost of broadband over a BT line from £23.30 per month in September 2005 to around £13.61 now, excluding the cost of Line rental.

More than 30 companies currently offer unbundled services to millions of homes and businesses across UK and local loop unbundling could be seen as the single most important reason why broadband has seen such a phenomenal uptake in the last few years.

The rate of penetration of broadband in the UK jumped from 37 percent in September 2005 to more than 65 percent. Other factors including the success of mobile broadband and the advances made by broadband competitor Virgin should also be considered.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said in a statement "In just four years, unbundling has gone from a flicker on the dial to a major competitive force in telecoms. This has delivered the dual benefits of driving up broadband take-up and driving down prices."