OTA Update for December 2007

There are now 3.748 million unbundled LLU lines and the indications are that demand remains strong as CP’s continue to implement their network strategies. There are 4.53 million WLR lines and 5.89 million telephone numbers using CPS

Despite the extremely busy period in the run up to Christmas, it is pleasing to report a number of areas of significant improvements in cross-industry collaboration. The LLU Products and Commercial group, which is a key working group that is attended by representatives from CP’s and Openreach, have defined and implemented new processes to improve the way that features and functionality are scoped and introduced to the network. The key objective being to ensure that Product Development roadmaps are driven by Business need, first and foremost, rather than development resource &/or budget constraints.

There has also been considerable success achieved by many of the other fora operating within the OTA2 community and over the next few weeks we will be conducting a review of the Governance Framework surrounding them to ensure that their original remits are still relevant and to eliminate various overlaps which may have crept in. OTA2 has already received representations from various CPs suggesting a fresh review would be welcome.

In order to better reflect the range of activities, and indeed as a result of the improving trend in Openreach performance across many of the areas we measure, we have taken the opportunity to review and, in some cases, simplify the performance charts we publish each month to better reflect either their purpose or to give greater clarity of the data within. The new versions are available within this report and include some new charts on WLR 2 & 3. Feedback is welcome on the new presentation.

Last month we reported that we had been disappointed by the news from Openreach that the delivery of agreed features to the WLR3 product had slipped significantly. Whilst we have been encouraged by the effort that has gone into redefining a realistic timetable, we have not yet received any commitment from Openreach on their new development roadmap and therefore have no commitment on revised dates for the baseline. Further discussions are scheduled during January and we will provide more information in our next update.

SLA/SLG: Ofcom have completed their formal review of SLA/SLG components within existing contracts for LLU, WLR and Ethernet products and the consultation document was published on 10th December. Industry responses are to be returned to Ofcom by 25th January.

LLU Service Levels: Actual service levels are mostly on track apart from MPF/SMPF 20-hour repair which still lags the agreed staircase improvement targets embedded within the integrated plan. However, there were signs of an improving trend beginning to appear in the latter stages of the month and hopefully this will be sustained as we enter the new year.

Unfortunately, MPF Transfer provisioning performance dropped alarmingly (i.e. 93% to 84%) for the week ending 23rd December, arresting the positive trend which has been evident since the Summer. The specific reason for this unexpected dip in performance is being investigated.

The LLU End-User Right First Time delivery of MPF/SMPF unbundled lines continues to remain stable averaging 96% throughout December. This metric represents an ‘industry aggregate’ view of SMPF/MPF delivery performance & is derived from data feeds collected directly from CPs.

LLU Integrated Improvement Plan: At the OTA2 Executive meeting in December, Openreach provided further details regarding the additional improvement initiatives which are being developed in order to achieve the ultimate targets agreed with Industry (i.e. 98% - Provision, 95% - Repair) at some point during 2008. The intermediate Staircase targets and associated timelines are being developed internally and will be reflected into employees’ objectives for 2008/9.

One of these initiatives (Automated Main Distribution Frame) has the potential to fundamentally transform the way service is delivered, reducing delivery timescales and completely eliminating ‘dead on arrivals’ and ‘early life failures’. Trials are planned to commence in the Spring & will be primarily concerned with proving functional & commercial feasibility - CPs will be invited to participate.

Migrations Programme Board (MPB): The Headline Migrations KPI continues to track an improving trend albeit very gradually. The absolute volume of Tag related calls into the BT Wholesale Tags help desk continues to decline primarily due to improvement initiatives by all Stakeholders.

The Ofcom Call Centre KPI has started to flatten off, reflecting a reduction in volume of Tag/Mac related calls received from End Users. Over the next 2-3 months, a number of key EMP developments are planned to be delivered by Openreach which, in addition to ongoing CP-specific improvements, will drive further significant reductions in Migration related issues associated with end-users seeking to switch suppliers and/or move home.

LLU Bulk Migrations: Bulk Migration Performance has maintained an average 98% Delivery performance throughout December whilst volumes have remained constant.

LLU Comingling & Backhaul delivery continues to perform satisfactorily, although weekly volumes remain quite low.

WLR Service Levels: Provisioning performance remains below targets and the flat trend is disappointing although we are aware that Openreach are looking for improvement within their integrated plan. Repair performance also continues to run substantially below the required level with no current sign of an improving trend.

WLR Integrated Improvement Plan: At the OTA2 Executive meeting in December, Openreach also provided further details regarding the development of an integrated plan for WLR. This plan will be modelled on the LLU version to provide consistency and whilst targets have not been formally agreed we expect they will be in line with those developed for LLU.

EMP: In-Life Availability performance has continued to remain stable. With most CPs now on-ramped to EMP, the industry community continues to work very closely with the Openreach team to improve the EMP upgrade processes to ensure each new release is successfully deployed with a minimum of disruption for Industry. The next upgrade (R700 release in January) is quite lengthy & complex and will present a stern test for all the process improvements which have been made in recent months.

The few remaining CPs not already on-ramped to EMP are now well advanced in their Pilot testing phase and remain on-track to be fully on-ramped by the end of January or sooner. OTA2 continue to ‘sit-in’ on the regular Bilateral reviews (i.e. CP/OR) to assist as necessary.

Sub Loop Unbundling (SLU): Whilst several members of the OTA2 Executive have expressed frustration at the rate of progress in the introduction of a Sub Loop product, there has been a more focused approach to the development of a trial. This has been progressed with the OTA2 involved in the bilaterals between Openreach and interested CP’s which are held on a weekly basis. The only significant issue which has caused some disappointment being Openreach’s decision not to release the new pricing required by CP’s to complete their business cases. At the OTA2 Executive held in December, Openreach undertook to review the situation and provide indicative pricing as soon as possible.

As Peter is ramping up his new project UKPorting, all management of the OTA2 is devolved to Rod Smith (OTA2 COO). Peter will still be Chairman and available if needed.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  1. EMP Release Plans & Scope (LLU/WLR)
  2. EMP performance and CP adoption (LLU/WLR)
  3. Fit for Purpose Migrations processes & CP adoption;
  4. The Implementation of the Integrated Improvement Plans from Openreach.
  5. BAU performance measurement, improvement and publication.


Rod Smith   Peter McD. Black