Business ofcom Regs

Naked DSL? Not on your Nellie says Ofcom!

I hear that according to Ofcom naked DSL is officially dead in the UK water and that they are not interested in pursuing it. Naked DSL is the product that would allow VoIP providers to offer voice over broadband without having to pay for the voice element of the underlying analogue phone line.

If a consumer or business is only using his telephone line as a means to carry ADSL and not to make phone calls they don’t need the cost element of the underlying line that enables telephony. This is available in some other countries but not in the UK!

Not a forward step from Ofcom – and this is coming from someone who sells both analogue lines, ADSL and VoIP.

On the other hand one of the bugbears of VoIP pure play operators such as Vonage is that when a customer wants to port his telephony service to them, from BT say, the act of doing so effectively cuts off the original phone line and by default the broadband connection and the VoIP service that would run over it. Anti-competitive I’d say.

The Office of the Telecoms Adjudicator (OTA) is championing a change here and we can hopefully expect that this is something we will see by the end of 2010. The notional solution is that BT will provide a new “ghost” number for the analogue line so that it doesn’t get cut off.

Business ofcom voip

LLU Lines On The Up

LLU, or Local Loop Unbundling continues to grow in the UK. The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA otherwise it’s a bit of a mouthful) has released it’s latest numbers which are for December.


It’s quite interesting to look at the curve. Can we see a classic product lifecycle curve here? Low initial growth then a steep incline followed by a tailing off that at this stage is barely perceptible. What concerns me somewhat is that I’m not sure that we should see a lifecycle curve for this product. It is a long term commodity play.

Also if you look at the Ofcom data for fixed line market penetration you can see that there is a long way to go before LLU should flatten out. It also means there is a long way to go before any other player’s market share is comparable to that of BT.


What is also interesting is that the fixed line market has stopped declining in terms of lines and indeed showed a small growth in 2007. We have to wait some time yet for the 2008 results. At 33.7 million fixed lines represents around 16% market share/penetration for LLU.

It would be interesting to understand why the number of fixed lines grew year on year. My guess is that it is the effect of more and more people working from home with companies paying for second analogue lines to carry a dedicated business broadband connection.