This article provides an analysis of local loop unbundling (LLU) in 16 Western European countries.
In nearly all examined countries, alternative operators use LLU to provide voice and/or data (Internet access) services to end-users.
LLU basically exists in two forms - full local loop unbundling where the alternative operators obtain the exclusive right to use the full frequency spectrum available on the copper line and thus the ability to provide telephone and/or high-speed services (xDSL) to end-users. On the other hand, with shared access, the alternative provider can provide high-speed services based on the high frequency band while the incumbent in most cases still provides basic telephony services. In this way, both the alternative provider and the incumbent have a direct relationship with the same customer.