UK reaches six million unbundled lines

Unbundling of telephone lines in the UK has led to greater take up of broadband services and lower bills for consumers, according to Ofcom. There are now over six million unbundled broadband lines in the country.

When the communications regulator and BT agreed in 2005 that the incumbent telco should set up a new division, called Openreach, to provide services to rival operators, there were just 123,000 unbundled lines in the UK and the majority of people could only get broadband and fixed telephony services from BT. Today, there are over 30 companies offering unbundled services and 65% of households and small businesses have broadband access compared with 37% in September 2005.

Ofcom said unbundling has also driven down prices.  Consumers currently pay an average of £13.61 (€15.81) per month (excluding VAT) for a broadband service delivered over a copper line. In the last quarter of 2005 that figure was £23.30.