Local Loop Unbundling - questions


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"AOL is planning to spend £120m to provide broadband and phone services direct to punters in a move that will further erode BT's dominance of the UK's telecoms sector.
The ISP joins a growing number of companies - including Wanadoo, Sky, Bulldog and the Carphone Warehouse - that are committed to local loop unbundling (LLU).
An initial £50m investment in LLU will see AOL install its kit in about 300 exchanges during the first half of this year - enabling the ISP to provide services to about 20 per cent of UK households. Source: The Register"

Can somebody explain to me how this works?

Who determines which company gets to install what hardware in which exchanges, and how will the overall integrity of each exchange be managed and overseen?

What stops me from requesting permission to install hardware in my local exchange?

OK stupid question, but the real question is... is this really 'unbundling' or is it just a chance for some hefty backhanders and dirty dealings (AKA re-bundling) leaving the telecoms customer shafted once again?

Excuse my cynicism, (and though I'm all for undoing the BT monopoly) but if companies are installing their own hardware, is this much better than what went before? Shouldn't it work like the deregulation of the gas and electricity industries where third parties 'leased' capacity, but released from the restrictions that BT currently place on them?

I accept that it's not quite the same deal, with advancing technology driving new business opportunities but something's not quite right here...

I’m not just having a rant… I don’t know how it works, and would like to.


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The biggest problem with this, is that when something doesn't work, the privateer blames BT and BT blames the privateer, so it takes ages to get faults fixed/corrected. The other factor is that if people think BT's customer services are slow or hard to get hold of, wait until they try and contact Bulldog or AOL, there is also the added burden of AOL software ARGHHHH!. :)