Thursday, January 19, 2006

AOL to Invest in Local Loop Unbundling in the UK

AOL will invest in Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in the UK. The initial phase of the program, costing around GBP 50 million, will take place in the first half of 2006 and reach up to 300 exchanges, equivalent to 20% of UK households. If successful, AOL may extend this rollout to up to 1,000 exchanges in the UK, based on an estimated additional investment of GBP 70 million, in order to be able to offer the possibility of 'unbundling' the telephone line for more than 50% of UK households. AOL's investment in the local telephone network in the UK is being funded by parent company Time Warner.

AOL said it has already completed beta testing of the LLU process in two London exchanges, Battersea and Ealing and has created a team of more than 100 people in the UK to carry out a large-scale LLU rollout. AOL's unbundled services will be ADSL 2+ compatible, creating the potential for broadband services of more than 8 Mbps in the future.

The AOL Internet service and AOL Talk are provided to UK subscribers by AOL Europe Services SARL, a company in the AOL group based in Luxembourg. AOL has more than 1.1m broadband subscribers out of a total of more than 2.3 million members in the UK, as at November 2005.

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