While there has been a lot of discussion in Ireland along the lines that; “if only we had LLU all our problems would be solved”, recent stats about the UK LLU efforts shows that this is clearly not the case.
While the UK is lightyears ahead of Ireland when it comes to LLU they are running into problems in related fields. Two of the main problems areas seem to be a high rate of line failure. For those of you not familiar with the term; this means that the exchange might be upgraded and unbundled (allowing “co-hosting” of other telco’s equipment) a line failure means that the line from the exchange to the consumer does not meet the minimum requirements to provide a service (voice, date etc.) over with a acceptable QoS. This is also a huge problem in ireland (and will be for years to come), Eircom & ComReg keep spewing figures in related to upgraded exchanges but if the lines from those exchanges to the consumers is so bad that no service can reasonably be provided over them the net gain is a big fat ZERO.
Another big problem in the UK seems to be a high “churn”. This is the number of subscribers leaving one provider and moving to another or just ceasing to use any service at all. What it boils down to is that a high churn rate is bad news for providers. As a provider you will get your number-crunchers to work out revenue forecast before entering a market. If you start losing customers at a high rate your revenue will drop and it will take a lot longer before you achieve any ROI (or if you achieve any at all..).
The Irish Telco operators, the subscribers and the relevant government departments should really consider these factors and look further than achieving LLU at a acceptable rate. The telco-infrastructure in this country is deplorable and consist of thousands of miles of rotten copper. What we really need is to use the dark fibre that is already in the ground, increase the current number of MAN’s and encourage new operators to put in an alternative infra-structure using wireless or simmilar technologies.