In the UK, this is referred to as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU), and it was promised to bring in more competition. It does, to a degree, but installing the equipment at the exchanges is very expensive. They're also BT was forced to separate its wholesale and retail businesses into separate business units, and provide the lines at the same price to competitors as they provide to their retail business unit. There are several problems with this though. If you buy broadband via this latter option, you need to pay line rental to BT Retail, which is stupidly expensive (around £15/month, and then calls on weekdays cost more than I pay from my prepay [no line rental] mobile phone) and bumps up the profits of BT Retail. There's then no requirement for BT Retail to make any profit on broadband, and so they can afford to undercut competitors who actually need to make a profit.