OTA2 Update for December 2009

At the end of December, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.36 million. There are 6.03 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 3.73 million.

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 the recently launched on-line SOR (Statement of Requirement) Management Tool will help to underpin the whole end to end process. This tool allows all CPs to register their SOR’s such that its progress through the various formative stages of the development process can be closely tracked by all interested parties.

  • Service Harmonisation

    At the December Change Control Board, Openreach tabled a specific change request after industry agreed it would be best to manage the implementation across a number of system releases, as opposed to the initial proposal of Release 1300 deployment planned for March 2010. Following a period of intensive discussion with industry which OTA2 helped to facilitate, a revised plan was agreed which means the new Service Harmonisation functionality will now be deployed in a minor ‘dot’ release (R1306) at the end of April 2010, whilst all other ‘Industry commitments’ planned for R1300 remain on track (e.g. Working Line Takeover for MPF delivery).
  • EMP Consumption Model

    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 challenge has been the subject of intensive consultation with industry throughout 2009 culminating in a list of specific improvement initiatives which all parties agree would make a positive ‘transformational’ difference if implemented.

    Following further reviews on risk and implementation of the new EMP Consumption model proposal, Openreach have tabled a final proposal which CPs have been asked to formally agree by 31st March 2010, bearing in mind that the development cannot proceed unless ALL CPs and Third Party Integrators commit ‘up front’ to making the necessary changes within their own business’s.

    In December, Openreach wrote to all CPs asking them to provide an informal view, by 8th Jan 2010, on any issues likely to prevent them being in a position to provide their formal agreement by 31st March 2010.

Migrations Processes Review

At the December OTA2 Executive meeting, Claudio Pollack (Ofcom Director of Consumer Affairs) provided an update on Ofcom’s overall plan to develop their policy in respect of migrations processes for the future.

Claudio explained that Ofcom have commissioned a number of workstreams which are currently underway, all of which will help to shape Ofcom’s thinking in this space ahead of a consultation document which they plan to publish in mid-summer 2010.

The various workstreams are as follows:

  • Consumer research programme – approx 4,000 consumers – Qualitative and quantitative – Cable consumers in scope – complete by end April.
  • Academic workshop – Focus on ‘save & retention’ activity.
  • Experimental economics research – Lab-based – focus on how consumers respond to different switching processes
  • European Regulators Group (ERG) switching survey – Questionnaires to other regulators
  • OECD work on migrations
  • Survey ‘other industries’ – e.g. – Energy

Claudio also stressed the important role which the OTA2-led workstreams have in the overall picture, as they will help to quantify the main weaknesses of today’s processes and to identify short and medium term actions needed to address these weaknesses.

As mentioned last month these workstreams are in progress and are targeted to complete by end-Jan 2010:

  • MAC/AOT ‘as-is’ process review project
  • Reduce Erroneous Landline Transfers/Disconnects
  • Establish effective Emergency Restoration Process

WLR2 Withdrawal

At the December OTA2 Executive meeting, Openreach presented the full ‘sunset’ plan for withdrawal of the WLR2 platform.

A number of key points were highlighted:

  • Concerns expressed that the ‘big’ CPs have yet to start their transition from WLR2 to WLR3. Only 10% of asset base has so far been migrated.
  • Need to avoid ‘log-jam’ effect due to the major CPs leaving things to the last minute.
  • Rough estimate that 2-300 CPs have yet to ‘migrate’ (WLR2-WLR3)
    Openreach urged all WLR2 CPs to register their plans (i.e. Establishment and Transition) with Openreach by latest March 2010.

For the avoidance of doubt the 2 Key milestones are:

  • 31st March, 2011: Openreach will no longer accept new orders on WLR2. CPs will need to have completed product establishment for WLR3 by this date.
  • 30th June, 2011: The WLR2 withdrawal date. CPs will need to be established on WLR3 and have transitioned their customer base from WLR2 to WLR3 as any WLR2 assets will not be available to CPs.

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 service is operational on four of the five networks. There have been some minor operational and process issues with the Emergency services which have been addressed and additional documentation issued.

We are working with the Fifth network to look at implementation and will continue to report further progress through this update.

Connectivity Services - Product development issues

At the OTA2 Executive meeting in December, Openreach presented a comprehensive update regarding all the issues highlighted in last month’s update. Salient points as follows:

  • Strategic Vision for Ethernet Aggregation Ph2 development and BCMR(Business Connectivity Market Review) implications – Openreach presented a new Plan for ‘Re-launch of Ethernet Aggregation Strategy’. Whilst this plan appears to be ‘starting from scratch’ all parties in the meeting agreed that the proposed game plan was very welcome and would be acceptable as a very positive way forward.
  • An agreed interpretation of the BCMR is central to progress on the Ethernet portfolio development and will be driven with the assistance of Ofcom and the OTA.
  • OTA2 agreed to help facilitate the industry collaboration needed to underpin the success of the new plan.

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.

WLR & LLU Industry Groups combined

Following a review led by the OTA2, the commercial and process industry groups for LLU and WLR, have now been combined:-

  • Combined Commerical Group for WLR/LLU ‘copper’ products
  • Combined Process Group for WLR/LLU ‘copper’ products

This recognises the maturity of both of the LLU and WLR products, the heavy demand on resources required from CPs to attend all the 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.

Service Levels

Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

  • LLU Plan & Build (i.e. POP-sites)– A serious backlog of PoP-site survey & build orders has arisen and is now seriously impacting ‘RFT-Right first time’ and ‘MTTP-mean time to provide’ performance
  • Openreach believe that the principle reason for this is poor forecasting coupled with a significant uplift in volumes leading to a lack of resource being available to complete the programmes on time.
  • Remedial actions have been set in train whereby closer liaison between Openreach and CPs has been established to ensure greater alignment of resources and more effective scheduling.
  • The backlog of survey requests now has confirmed slots in place to recover the situation by end-Feb 2010
  • LLU-SMPF - Provide (L2C – Lead to Cash) – Performance continues to lag the agreed staircase target.

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