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Thursday, March 08, 2007

OpenReach LLU KPIs

OpenReach publish a weekly spreadsheet on the various LLU stats. Although two weeks do not make a certain trend, the rate of unbundling has dropped now for two consecutive weeks and last weeks stood at 58k lines down from a peak of 66k lines. The total number of lines unbundled now stands at 1.7m.

Even more worrying for unbundlers is the rate of faults, represented by the First Touch, Last touch statistic, remains worryingly high especially on fully unbundled lines and does not seem to be improving:
  • Partial Bulk - 96.27%
  • Partial Single - 88.91%
  • Full New Line - 18.09%
  • Full Transfer Bulk - 36.96%
Everybody who sells “double play” or “triple play” services will ultimately want a fully unbundled line just because of the economics. With the demise of Bulldog the only current high volume full unbundler is TalkTalk and the stats must indicate a lot of ongoing problems with TalkTalk transferring customers from the unprofitable CPS + resold broadband to the theoretically more profitable unbundled services. AOL, Orange, Tiscali and Sky who are moving people to partial unbundling (and therefore not risking loss of voice service) will be suffering a lot less.


The high priest of tipsters has just gotten in touch with me and said my usual eagle eye has missed the most relevant statistic hidden within the OpenReach statistics is the amount of churn going on within the LLU community.

This gem is revealed by subtracting the difference between the current and previous weeks “Working System Size” ie the net adds and comparing to the total number of orders processed ie the gross adds. For the last 5 weeks this has been running at over 10k. As a ball park figure (averaging the last 4 weeks figures and annualising) this equates to around 40% per annum churn.

It is true that the original Bulldog unbundlers should now be out of contract and a lot of Tiscali and Orange customers were partially unbundled without being made aware and signing new contracts. Orange also recently said that broadband churn was running around 25% and they expected (in France) home churn in the end to be as significant a factor as mobile churn. As an aside, I love the French term for churn is washing machine.

If this is true, it is a truly horrific figure for the LLU community and the unbundlers P&L accounts will weeping in red ink for a many a year. However, the figure is so high, there must be something wrong in either the OpenReach spreadsheet, my assumptions or broadband satisfaction.

My excuse for missing this gem is a combination of stupidity and a raging hangover brought on by consuming copious quantities of Vino Collapso.