ComReg have another release about LLU here. We had a draft press release ready to go to counter the expected spin from them which probably would have said how great they are with the LLU talks. But alas ComReg don’t seem to want to press release this news. It’s great that they’ve finally highlighted how hard it is to move to LLU though. Still, why bin good content. Here’s the release:
IrelandOffline welcome any and all actions by ComReg to repair many of the serious problems with local loop unbundling in Ireland. However important issues like high wholesale costs, seamless movement from one service to another and the lack of automated ordering systems means consumers will still not be able to avail of the benefits of LLU. Benefits include cheaper prices and innovative packages such as TV, movies on demand, higher speed broadband and phone all over one line.
IrelandOffline chairman Damien Mulley commented: “The ComReg announcement today is much like a plumber on the Titanic telling the Captain he’s fixed a leaking pipe. Meanwhile the ship is going down. This new system will certainly make it more convenient for businesses and consumers to move to phone and broadband providers while keeping their number, something possible in other countries for most of this decade. However, a huge amount more needs to be done before consumers can really benefit.”
What today’s announcement means:
The current issue that ComReg have improved on means that consumers and businesses can now order broadband from a provider and keep their number without major disruption and downtime as had been occurring previously if they wanted to keep their number.
Even with the new system in place, in order to move to an LLU product (such as Smart’s or Magnet’s), you have to first cancel your broadband service with eircom and then your new provider has to request LLU from eircom. If your phone and broadband service is not with eircom it is worse again. You have to cancel all services, move back to eircom and only then can an order by your new provider be placed. Adding outages, billing issues and potential downtime to ordering broadband.
The new system that ComReg created for Ireland is a manual system meaning at most a few hundred orders can be processed per week. In the UK with an automated system 30,000 LLU customers a week are being moved over to free broadband providers like Carphone Warehouse and Sky. Industry in Ireland have been requesting an automated ordering system for years but to no avail.
Ireland currently is placed 14th in the EU15 for broadband penetration, a partial reflection on the lack of a working LLU system.