Oftel consults on unbundling the local loop

United Kingdom

On 10th March, Oftel launched a consultation on a proposed new condition of BT's licence to require BT to open up its local access lines. The condition requires BT to provide unbundled loops to other network operators, to permit the co-location of equipment at its local exchanges and to provide any necessary services. The Director General of Oftel is also able to set the price for these services and to resolve any disputes between BT and other operators over these services.

The unbundling will allow operators to upgrade BT's local loop by placing Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology in the local exchange and at customer premises. DSL converts the local phone lines into a high capacity line, capable of providing customers with high-bandwidth services such as video-on-demand and high-speed always-on Internet access.

It is anticipated that the new licence condition will be in place by June 2000. The Director General will set the date on which the condition will come into effect.

(Oftel Press Release 14/00)