Thus abandons unbundling plans

Another telco turns its back on unbundling

Telecoms firm Thus is the latest to scrap its broadband plans, according to a report by the BBC.

Telcos like Thus (quote: THUS), Energis (quote: EGS) and Cable & Wireless (quote: CW) had hoped to take advantage of unbundled local loop -- in which other operators install equipment into BT's telephone exchanges -- in order to roll out cheaper broadband services in the UK.

The process, however, has been fraught with problems and delays and BT was hauled before a select committee in December to answer its rivals' complaints. Telecoms watchdog Oftel has tried to put the process back on track, but five operators including WorldCom, Telewest (quote: TWT) and ntl have withdrawn from the process, blaming the high cost of unbundling. Energis has also decided to cut back its investment in unbundling.

Oftel was forced to call an emergency meeting earlier in the month as it became clear that unbundling was failing to attract operators. According to a survey from ECTA last week the UK is well behind many of its European counterparts in opening up exchanges and rolling out services. ECTA warns BT could be about to extend its monopoly of voice services to the broadband arena.

Full story to follow.

Is broadband coming to your neighbourhood? Find out with ZDNet UK's Broadband Britain Guide.

Can you get high-speed access for your home or business? Find out with the ADSL Special

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.