Onetel, the telecommunications wing of utility giant Centrica, has teamed up with Easynet to offer its broadband services to businesses and consumers.
Easynet is one of the few operators to use local-loop unbundling (LLU) to install its equipment in BT's local exchanges and offer its own wholesale broadband services. This allows Easynet to sell ADSL broadband at speeds up to 8Mbps, and it is aiming to offer 24Mbps services before the end of the year.
Centrica now hopes to target the 4.4 million customers that are covered by Easynet's unbundled network of local exchanges.
"The partnership with Easynet will allow us to deploy next-generation broadband services and benefit from LLU economics," said Ian El-Mokadem, managing director of Onetel in a statement.
Following Ofcom's intervention last year to push down prices, a growing number of telcos are interested in competing with BT through LLU.
It's unclear when LLU operators will extend beyond telephone exchanges in the larger UK cities. Some in the industry believe that LLU will only be commercially viable in urban areas, where there are more potential customers.