According to this story, Irish incumbent telco eircom will obliged by the telecomms regulator Comreg to continue LLU network rollout, in spite of the fact that next-generation networks, where every cabinet will be individually enabled with faster 25 or 50 Mbit broadband. Now this is ridiculous.
LLU, the arrangement whereby competitors are allowed put equipment into eircom exchanges and connect directly to the customer’s line, is dead. There is no point in anybody investing any more money in unbundling local exchanges if a fiber-to-the-cabinet network is to be built. It will simply be impossible for an LLU operator which can offer maximum speeds of 10Mbps to compete with eircom or bitstream competitors who can offer speeds of up to 50 Mbps on the same piece of copper, for the same price. (Unbundling every individual cabinet is possible in principle, but in practice, it would be too expensive for a small operator to do.)
Comreg has to make up its mind now whether it wants to devote its energies to protecting the interests of consumers, who need NGN and need it rolled out economically and fairly, or whether it is going to spend its time protecting the interests of the various unconsolidated bit players in the telecomms marketplace, by tying the whole country into dead technology, slow speeds and an unworkable business model.