Ofcom announces unbundling milestone

12 Aug 2009

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced that the number of unbundled lines in the country has passed the six million mark. Ofcom cited the requirement for incumbent BT to set up a separate division, Openreach, to provide services for rival operators, as the catalyst for the increase. At September 2005 the UK had just 123,000 unbundled lines, with just 37% of households and business taking a broadband service. By comparison at September 2009 there were 6.01 million unbundled connections, with more than 65% of the country accessing the internet through a high speed service. The regulator has also argued the increase in competition as a result of unbundling has driven the cost of broadband down; it said that the average monthly cost for a high speed connection is GBP13.61 (USD22.44), compared to GBP23.30 per month at the end of 2005. Commenting on the milestone, Ed Richard, Ofcom’s chief executive, said: ‘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.’

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Ofcom