LLU and switching

The local loop unbundling has become popular in UK. There are more than 3.5 million local loop unbundled broadband lines in the UK, that still grow. The providers install their own equipment in the local BT exchange that make them free from leasing the line. The savings are passed on to the user in the form of “free broadband” by providers like TalkTalk (www.TalkTalk.co.uk). However the different types of technology used in LLU connections make it difficult. when the user wants to switch back to the BT network and back to a standard ADSL provider. The user won’t get a seamless switch as is the case of using a MAC code between two ADSL providers.

Ofcom is working on an LLU-MAC code scheme which is voluntary at present. This scheme, at present, applies only to the partial LLU, where the broadband but not the phone line has been unbundled as in the case of a Be Broadband (www.BeThere.co.uk) connection. If a reconnection of broadband is to be effected after disconnection one has to pay a cease and re-provide fee of £58.75. For reconnection of both broadband and standard telephone line, from an LLU provider, the fee to be paid to BT may go up to £124.99. Experience shows that some customers have found themselves being charged by two different providers, after they followed the wrong process and their old contract wasn’t properly cancelled. Although Ofcom has tried to make the switching process easier, it is found very difficult to get correct information on how to switch provider. Hence it is always better to consult both the provider that you are leaving, and your new provider on which process to follow and finalise the switching process.