Oftel today published its draft guidelines for unbundling the local loop.

The UK telecoms watchdog expects telecoms operators to be able to begin installing DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) equipment into BT exchanges before the end of the year. The guidelines also list the range of facilities and services that BT must offer to other operators, and the time scales in which BT must provide them.

The document states that BT must "not give undue preference or discrimination to its own business against other operators, and ensure that other operators are able to compete on the same basis as BT in delivery of high bandwidth services".

BT is also required to set "prices derived from costs", and to ensure that a reference offer on local-loop prices, terms and products is published, so other operators can be certain of what is being offered. BT is being told to install other operators equipment in its exchanges within four months of receiving an order.

BT has still failed to release drivers that will allow domestic-Macintosh users to receive ADSL services via USB, forcing Mac-using early adopters of ADSL services to adopt the far more expensive business ethernet options.