This is a very interesting note on Om Malik's blog. Lacking more details, this appears to partition the telephone network in the UK into separate access provision (local loop) and service provision (switching) companies. The access provision business, which will apparently be called "openreach". This is something that has been under discussion among academics for some time ... the idea is that a separate access division will be indifferent to service providers, levelling the field for service competitors. Is this a tacit acknowledgement that, perhaps, the local loop is a "natural monopoly"?