Easynet upbeat on local-loop unbundling

The broadband provider says it is making progress with local-loop unbundling, including offering superfast 4Mb and 8MB broadband products

Reports of the death of local-loop unbundling are greatly exaggerated, according to broadband provider easynet.

The telecoms firm says it is pleased with its success in winning customers for its DSL services, and predicts that 2002 will continue to be a good year for easynet.

Easynet has now unbundled telephone lines at 54 UK exchanges, meaning it can compete with BT Wholesale and offer its own broadband products. It currently has nearly 700 business customers for its "own loop" broadband products. Easynet has also connected its first customers to its 4MB and 8MB ADSL and SDSL services.

On top of its own products, Easynet also acts as a reseller of BT Wholesale's ADSL products and now has 5,161 business customers for these services.

"We are delighted with the pace at which we have been able to unbundle local loops and attract businesses. Going forward we are confident that 2002 will be an excellent year for easynet DSL and for the development of the wider Group," said David Rowe, easynet's chief executive, in a statement.

Local-loop unbundling allows telecoms firms to install their own equipment in or near a BT local exchanges and provide wholesale telecoms services for ISPs.

When it was first introduced in the UK it was hoped that local-loop unbundling would allow large numbers of rival operators to compete with BT in the provision of wholesale products. However, the process lurched into near-collapse last year as companies deserted it in droves.

Easynet's upbeat report suggests that local-loop unbundling could still have a future.


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