OTA2 Update for October 2009

At the end of October, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.2 million. There are 6.14 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 3.83 million. It is notable that the WLR2 system size has reduced for the first time.

Product Development Roadmap

Openreach have now implemented the new Product Development & Launch process along with the associated Change Control Process which has been agreed with Industry. The process is working well and Openreach have made good progress toward the realisation of both the commitments they made to industry (OICs - Openreach Industry Commitments) and against the developments they were making against their own commercial criteria (Openreach Commercial Developments).

Although reviews of the developments have been held, no proposed changes have been brought forward and all parties remain committed to the roadmap timescales published quarterly on the Openreach web-site. It is important to note that the published roadmap captures both the commercial developments and the OICs. This provides a level of transparency and clarity that was not previously available.

One of the headline roadmap deliverables involves improvement of the EMP Consumption model to enable CPs to adopt new functionality more efficiently and cost-effectively. This programme has now reached an advanced stage whereby the key recommendations need to be signed-off by all parties before detailed implementation can commence. Approval to proceed is required by mid-November. OTA2 will be working with Openreach and Stakeholders to achieve this critical sign-off.

New Challenges

As reported last month, we have been asked to undertake several important tasks relating to the Migration of customers from one CP supplier to another. This subject is currently stimulating much discussion and Ofcom are, in parallel, considering the characteristics of any future new policy. The work that we are undertaking is however limited to process improvements to current policies. The above can be summarised as follows:

Background

A number of activities are currently in progress to address issues associated with consumer processes for migrations and homemoves:-

  1. Strategic Process Review - Ofcom have been leading a Strategic review of consumer migrations processes.
  2. Current Processes Review – OTA2 have agreed (following requests from OTA2 Exec members and Ofcom) to lead a process review of the two existing migration processes (MAC and AOT) to determine how both could be improved in both the short and medium term in a way that addresses any perceived weaknesses. For the purpose of clarity, OTA2 will not seek to amend the principles of either existing process, nor will we propose any changes to migrations policy.
  3. Erroneous Transfers Investigation- OTA2 and Openreach have been asked by Ofcom to lead an industry-wide investigation into the underlying causes behind erroneous transfers and to develop/implement the necessary short and medium actions needed to resolve them.
  4. Restoration Process – OTA2 and Openreach have also been asked to develop/implement an effective recovery process when an erroneous transfer occurs.(Short term action)

OTA2 will initiate an industry-wide workstream to address item 2 above (Current Processes Review)

Items 3 and 4 above warrant a separate but very focused investigation, to be completed as a matter of urgency, as the volume of related consumer complaints are already significant. OTA2 are working closely with Openreach and will be engaging with CPs as necessary over the next few weeks.

By the end of January 2010 we hope to publish to the stakeholders a report which describes:-

i) a shared view of the respective weaknesses of the existing AOT and MAC-based migration processes and their relative impacts for both consumers and SP/CPs.
This report should include supporting data as much as possible to underpin the results.
ii) an improvement plan for each of the 2 processes which seeks to address their respective weaknesses

Retain Directory Entries

As previously reported the WLR community have raised concerns over the withdrawal of the Directories Solution scheduled for EMP R1100.

Openreach have shared the tactical solution for the Directories Solution with industry. The solution takes the principles used in WLR2 and provides the CPs with the same functionality using an e-mail request system. A further more detailed process review will be given at the October WLR Process group to ensure CP alignment.

Minimum Security Standard

The NICC Minimum Security Standard (ND1643) has been published and can be downloaded via the following link; http://www.niccstandards.org.uk/publications/llu_spec.cfm .

NGNuk are also working to develop a certification scheme in association with UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) to support the standard.

The Code of Practice (CoP), committing CPs to the full implementation of the Minimum Security Standard (ND1643) has now been signed by 10 major CPs/LLUOs. The task of OTA2 is now to work with those CPs that have signed the CoP, to monitor and report on progress towards implementation. The previously agreed task for the OTA2 of widening the scope of signatories to the CoP also remains a priority.

Displaced Mobile Emergency Calls

As previously reported the OTA2 are engaged in managing this project.

OTA2 are happy to report that four of the five Mobile Networks are now fully live offering the ‘Emergency Roamer’ facility. The final networks have indicated they are planning on delivery by the end of the calendar year.

The working group are now engaged in analysis of the calls and ensuring that the supporting processes for providing information to the Emergency Authorities are as capable as possible.

Connectivity Services (Ethernet)

At the October OTA2 Executive meeting we undertook a session aimed at raising the profile of issues which have been raised by the Ethernet Business CPs. The approach was to break the issues into key areas:

  • EAD (Ethernet Access Direct)
  • BCMR (Business Connectivity Market Review)
  • Ethernet Aggregation Phase 1
  • Ethernet Aggregation Phase 2
  • EAD Flex – FttP

We will continue to work with industry, Openreach and Ofcom to address the areas of concern and to develop action plans to remove any barriers to CPs consuming Openreach Ethernet Product and report progress through the monthly update.

Connectivity Services Process Group (CSPG)

This forum provides an excellent opportunity for CPs to collaborate directly with Openreach process design experts in validating the solutions proposed for new functionality in upcoming products, before they progress to the development stage. Additionally, for new requirements, these groups will develop the initial ‘User Journey Stories’ which Openreach designers need before they can progress their solution designs.

Areas of activity

  • Space and Power at BT sites especially the 106 Openreach Handover Points (OHPs)
  • Aggregation Phases 1&2
  • 56 Points of Aggregation
  • Fibre Mapping

WLR & LLU Commercial Groups

Following a review led by the OTA2, a proposal has been made to the OTA2 Executive to combine these two commercial and process groups. This recognises the maturity of both the LLU and WLR products, resources required from CPs to attend a number of working groups across WLR and LLU, and the relationship to the existing combined product Service Forum and Migration Planning board. The plan is to introduce this method of working from the start of 2010 using a structured agenda that separately covers WLR/CPS, LLU and combined areas.

Overall the benefits are:

  • Optimise Industry and Openreach resources for meetings
  • Increase standardised approach for processes, documentation and requirements
  • Focus on Voice and broadband i.e. Voice is delivered via CPS/WLR or MPF broadband via SMPF or MPF
  • Trap Process conflicts/variants (i.e. WLTO)
  • Concisely manage Common Portfolio Products at one forum
  • Align with MPB and Service Management Forum

WLR & LLU Process Fora

These two fora provide an excellent opportunity for CPs to collaborate directly with Openreach process design experts in validating the solutions proposed for new functionality in upcoming releases, before they progress to the ‘development’ stage. Additionally, for new requirements, these groups will develop the initial ‘User Journey Stories’ which Openreach designers need before they can progress their solution designs.

The work of these groups will be important in ensuring successful delivery of the 18 month roadmap mentioned earlier and essential in ensuring that the right things are developed in the correct priority. CPs are urged to make their attendance at this important forum a high priority.

Service Levels

Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

  • Plan & Build – A serious backlog of PoP-site build orders has arisen over the summer months and is now impacting ‘RFT-Right first time’ and ‘MTTP-mean time to provide’ performance
  • Openreach have cited lack of resource and poor forecasting as the main reasons
  • Remedial actions have been set in train, internally, to correct the situation
  • It is most disappointing to see this important aspect of OR’s operational performance deteriorate to such an extent, so quickly
  • LLU-SMPF - Provide (L2C – Lead to Cash) – Performance of late has been well below agreed staircase target. Openreach have explained that fresh actions are in hand to correct this situation by November, whilst acknowledging that year to date results have remained broadly flat against a rising target.
  • WLR – Repair (T2R – Trouble to Resolve) – Negatively impacted in September due to a major systems outage (NEO) during September. A thorough investigation has been completed and specific steps have been taken by Openreach to prevent a recurrence.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • 18 month Development Roadmap - implementation & change control
  • EMP consumption issues
  • Documentation issues
  • Data Integrity issues
  • WLR/LLU Process development
  • Connectivity Services – Product Issues
  • Connectivity Services Process Development
  • Current migrations processes-Critical Review
  • Erroneous Fixed Line Provisioning activity
  • Service levels (LLU/WLR/Ethernet)
  • Migrations Process developent for NGA to/from Copper
  • Minimum Security Standards
  • Displaced Mobile Emergency Calls

 

Rod Smith