LLU providers hammer out a deal

20 Dec 2007

A ComReg-facilitated working group involving all providers of local loop unbundling (LLU) services in the marketplace have come to an industry agreement.

The working group involved incumbent operator Eircom as well as alternative operators Magnet, Smart and BT.

Negotiations between Irish telecoms operators have been taking place since December 2004 and have centred on implementing automated processes for rival operators to offer broadband services using LLU over Eircom’s network.

This process would allow operators to install their own equipment in Eircom exchanges, allowing them to offer a wider range of services, such as broadband, to businesses and consumers instead of just reselling services that Eircom currently provides.

In April 2006 BT, Magnet and Smart all walked away from the negotiating table over the lack of progress at the time before ComReg and Eircom encouraged them back to the table.

A spokesman for alternative operator Smart says the new agreement will allow operators to increase capacity at the exchanges.

“For Smart it means that we can offer symmetrical services. In the past, for example, we used to offer services that would be 2Mbps download and 1Mbps upload. Now we can offer services of 5Mbps upload and download from any of the 37 exchanges we are active in across Ireland.”

The total value of the corporate, SME and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) markets in Ireland are valued at €2.4bn, according to ComReg.

By John Kennedy