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Business

Intel still hoping for local loop unbundling

'No to monopolies!' says chip quasi-monopolist...
Written by Ben King, Contributor

'No to monopolies!' says chip quasi-monopolist...

Intel still believes local loop unbundling (LLU) is essential for consumer broadband, despite a recognition among most of the industry that it can never be made to pay. Gordon Graylish, director of the Intel's EMEA communications group, said: "It's something that we can't back away from. We think local loop unbundling is essential for ensuring a competitive European broadband market." Intel is continuing to support LLU through a range of measures, Graylish told journalists at the Intel Developer Forum in Munich today. The chip giant lobbies government through its own government affairs unit, invests in companies involved in the area, and engages in softer measures such as "promoting best practices". Speaking at the same conference, Forrester analyst Lars Godell, said: "Whatever Intel thinks, LLU is a dead end in Europe, and there have been court cases recently in America which could see LLU becoming a dead end there too." The LLU process, which sees alternative companies provide broadband by placing their own equipment in local exchanges owned by the incumbent telecoms companies such as BT, has been a dismal failure in Europe. Just 800,000 unbundled lines have been installed across the continent, with fewer than 200 in the UK. A few ventures in the UK are still touting business plans featuring DSL lines as leased line replacements with speeds of 2Mbps and above, but most realise that only the business customers really represent a serious profit opportunity.
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