OTA Update for March 2007

It is with some satisfaction that I can report that we are about to reach 2 million lines now unbundled in the UK.

In the coming weeks the new OTA2 scheme will replace the current OTA scheme. The creation of OTA2 was as a result of the success of the OTA & industry working together to get LLU up and running successfully in the UK. The Ofcom Policy Executive and Ofcom Board felt that widening the scope of the OTA would make sense as a number of the OTA initiatives were impacting multiple Openreach products, Migrations and EMP being clear examples. An MOU has been circulated and we await signature and return from CPs. The wider range of products & services is listed in the extract from the OTA2 MOU below. Representatives of the Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) industry have been approached through the WLR/CPS Commercial Forum to ensure they are properly represented within the OTA2 scheme. The Independence of the OTA is maintained in the OTA2 scheme.

OTA2 In-scope Products are:

Local Loop Unbundling, (including Metallic Path Facility, Shared Metallic Path Facility, Sub-loop Unbundling and relevant support services, including air conditioning and power), Backhaul Extension Service and Wholesale Extension Backhaul; Wholesale Line Rental / Carrier Pre-Selection; Geographic number portability and broadband of both BT and other Communications Providers where migration impacts may occur; and others as necessary and reasonably agreed from time to time;

The OTA has a number of major challenges in hand and they will be carried through into the OTA2 scheme.

The key LLU challenges for the OTA2 are:

  • Tactical Improvement of the Migrations Processes & Industry-wide adoption
  • Fully Unbundled Line (MPF) Processes Further Industrialised and Sustainable Quality Improvements
  • EMP Quality and Stability of surrounding support processes becoming a non issue
  • Strategic Solutions for the Migrations Processes

We have yet to agree the key initiatives that may be needed in the other OTA2 product areas.

We will be working to establish whether new KPIs are necessary for the wider product group. It is certainly our intention to produce a Headline Migrations KPI that will demonstrate whether the Industry and therefore End-Users are benefiting from the initiatives being driven by the newly formed ‘Migrations Programme Board’.

The LLU Right First Time delivery of business as usual (BAU) unbundled lines is sitting at 89% against a target of 98%. The SMPF results still outperform the MPF results by approximately 10%. The OTA & OTA2 will continue to work with Openreach to enhance the processes, particularly for MPF

Migrations; The Migrations Programme is now fully established and underway. Progress has been made on a number of fronts as follows:-

  • Industry Stakeholders fully engaged and represented at the Migrations Programme Board. WLR representation still to be finalised. All parties showing full support and ‘focused’ on the challenge ahead.
  • The overall ‘migrations’ problem has been evaluated and broken down into logical ‘bite-size’ components.
  • A small number of discrete work streams have been initiated and are aimed at fixing the process deficiencies, allowing End-Users to migrate their services more seamlessly than at present.
  • These workstreams have now been consolidated into a formal ‘Programme Plan’ and will be the primary mechanism by which the Programme Board will drive the overall Programme forward, track progress closely and escalate as necessary.
  • To gauge the overall success of the ‘Migrations Programme’, a headline KPI has been specified and will be in place shortly.

Bulk & Mass Migrations; the programme is progressing well. Mass (i.e. MPF) migration quality is lagging Bulk (SMPF) migration quality (82% vs. 92% delivery to CCD) and is being addressed as part of the MPF improvement programme mentioned above.

Assurance; Both SMPF & MPF Repair performance have deteriorated in recent weeks with MPF continuously lagging SMPF by approx. 10%. Openreach have a number of improvement activities in train which will arrest the deterioration and get performance back on track by end-June 2007. OTA continue to review, with Openreach, the ‘Repair’ measurements with particular focus on ‘repeat’ faults and ‘early life failures’.

Backhaul delivery performance for LLU is returning to its good performance levels from earlier this year.

Comingling delivery performance has once again started to improve after stalling for a number of weeks. However volumes have been lower of late. Openreach will have to keep focussed as the volumes rise again in coming weeks.

EMP – Most LLU CPs are now either using EMP or planning to do so within the next 3 months. Given Industry’s critical dependency on EMP, Openreach have initiated a major review of EMP’s reliability with particular focus on eliminating any ‘single points of failure’. This issue was highlighted during late February / early March 2007 when the EMP (B2B) Gateway failed and, as a consequence, rendered the EMP service ‘unavailable’ for lengthy periods. OTA continue to work with Openreach to ensure EMP performance (and how it is measured / reported) is continuously improved.

The First Touch Last Touch performance for all orders is shown in the KPI (See KPI). This measurement focuses on OR’s Delivery performance to CRD (Customer Required Date). Whilst SMPF performance is working well, MPF performance remains volatile from 1 week to the next, and re-enforces the need to further industrialise the MPF product processes. This remains an area of particular focus for Openreach and the OTA supported by MPF CPs.

There are no Disputes in progress with the OTA at the present time.

It is excellent that we are about to achieve 2 Million lines unbundled; however the key to further success continues to be stability, and continuous improvement of the RFT KPI. The sustainable execution of the Service Improvement Plans from Openreach. The successful full introduction of EMP and the CPs’ transition onto it. The use of EMP by all CPs is also a key stepping stone towards achieving seamless Migrations for End-users.

OTA2 will focus on:

  1. EMP performance and CP adoption
  2. Fit For Purpose Migrations Processes & CP adoption;
  3. Plans to industrialise MPF processes
  4. BAU performance measurement, improvement and publication.
  5. New In-Scope Products - Strategic/Major Issues


Peter McD. Black