OTA2 Update for January 2010

At the end of January, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.4 million. There are 6.02 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 3.66 million.


As we enter a new calendar year it is worth reflecting on the progress we have made in recent times, and to look a little bit forward to the aspirations we have for the New Year.

Looking back, significant progress has been made by industry in respect of developments on EMP, to the extent that priorities were identified, Openreach committed to deliver them, a formal change control process with industry participation is in place and working and those commitments are on schedule. Some of the very important items that required greater consideration in defining their scope, such as Documentation improvements, are now much more mature and progressing well. They are reported upon in more detail within this update.
We have agreed with Industry to combine the previously separate Fora dealing with LLU and WLR into a ‘Copper Products’ forum. As the previously separate groups have many subjects of common interest it is believed that better progress can be achieved as a single entity. Also, the former Openreach Ethernet Forum has evolved to become the Connectivity Services Commercial group under independent chairmanship and good progress is being made in addressing open issues.

We have just about completed our work in assisting with the implementation of Displaced Mobile Emergency calls (999 roaming) and the new processes are in place and working well.

Looking into the near term future, we are heavily involved in reviewing the existing Consumer migration processes to try to identify improvements that would benefit both industry and consumers, we are working with the Number Portability Commercial group to look for potential improvements to number migration processes, and we are working with Openreach and others to seek improvements in Customer address records with the aim of reducing the level of customer migrations that do not go smoothly. We hope all these items contribute to a better consumer experience when moving between suppliers or relocating.

Product Development Roadmap

  • Overall Openreach Industry Commitment Delivery progress – Overall the commitments that require specific ‘new product’ type development are on track and are being monitored within the change control process - Specific updates for:-
  • New EMP Consumption model – The target date for the new architectural model is R1600 (March 2011) and remains subject to adequate industry commitment to adopt the new model being given by end of March 2010. Substantive evidence of this commitment needs to be in place by the end of March 2010. This programme is a direct response to the biggest concern raised by industry at the beginning of 2009 as part of the wider ‘systems separation’ review led by Ofcom.
  • KnowHow Programme (Documentation) – This programme is beginning to pick up momentum as it steps through a series of important development ‘sprints’ with close industry collaboration at regular intervals. The scope of the programme spans the following areas:-
    • Products – WLR, LLU, Ethernet, NGA and Service Products
    • Functional Information Types – Products, Process, Marketing, Commercial, Systems, Service, Contacts
    • EMP Releases – Alignment to the EMP Consumption model and the new Concept to Market(C2M) process
    A number of old-style process documents have already been re-written in line with the new KnowHow content model and are now available on the Openreach web-site – These are quick–win deliverables with more planned.

    There has been good support from some CP’s, however for this programme to be completely successful greater participation from all CP’s would be greatly welcomed. All CP’s are therefore encouraged to participate more to ensure that user requirements are met.
  • Data Integrity – Address Data issues – As part of this programme Openreach have identified the root cause of a major problem whereby CPs’ ability to correctly match the addresses of their consumers with the address records held inside Openreach’s address database is seriously impaired. This is driving a range of negative consequences for both CPs and their consumers. Openreach have indicated that the underlying cause is an internal ‘systems architecture’ issue which they plan to resolve as soon as possible. OTA2 are tracking this issue very closely.
  • New SOR on-line tool – Openreach have now loaded the backlog of all pre-existing SOR’s - closed and open. Following discussions with key Industry representatives, Openreach have issued a brief consultation on ensuring that all SOR’s are shared automatically (with allowance for the protection of CP sensitive data). A draft code of practice has been developed and is with stakeholders for comment. Use of this tool in line with the developing C2M (Concept to Market) and industry groups will improve the overall management of new industry requirements.
  • Migrations Processes Review

    Migrations Processes - As mentioned in previous updates, there are several work streams in progress which are targeted to complete in Q1 2010:
  • MAC/AoT ‘as-is’ process review project – We continue to collect inputs from CPs which will help to identify/quantify the major weaknesses with the current AoT and MAC-based migration processes. The next step is to produce a consolidated view of what CPs have told us and, with their help, develop a comprehensive plan of improvement. Multilateral workshops to be arranged throughout February.
  • Reduce Erroneous Landline Transfers/Disconnects - A comprehensive root cause analysis of actual incidents has been completed and a report produced. The next step is to share these findings with CPs on a multilateral basis and, with their help, develop a plan of short/medium term actions to address the root causes.
  • Establish effective Emergency Restoration Process - Various options are still being evaluated by Openreach and OTA. The aim is to develop a specific proposal which will be put to CPs for their adoption.

WLR2 Withdrawal

Openreach have presented the full ‘sunset’ plan for withdrawal of the WLR2 platform.

A number of key points are highlighted:

  • Concerns expressed that the ‘big’ CPs have yet to start their transition from WLR2 to WLR3. Only 10% of the asset base has so far been migrated.
  • The need to avoid a ‘log-jam’ effect, due to the major CPs leaving transition to the last minute.
  • A rough estimate is that 200-300 CPs have yet to ‘migrate’ (WLR2-WLR3).
    Openreach have 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 11 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.
The fifth network operator is planning to implement the LSS functionality on their network, which provides the 999 Roaming facility, by the end of March.

Connectivity Services - Product development issues

As reported in the last update, at the OTA2 Executive meeting in December Openreach presented a strategic plan to review the Ethernet Aggregation products. The plan has not progressed at the pace hoped for and OTA2 are awaiting the CP engagement phase to commence. The principles of the plan have been very well received by the CP community and they are anxious to make progress.

A document capturing the base principles of the BCMR has been written by the OTA2 and is with OFCOM for agreement before circulation to Openreach and the Ethernet CP community.

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 Commercial 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 first meetings have now been held and will now be groomed to meet Industry needs.

Service Levels

Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

  • Provisioning & Repair performance (LLU & WLR) continues to deteriorate with actual performance beginning to lag the agreed staircase targets. It remains unclear at this stage if this downturn is wholly attributable to the adverse weather conditions encountered at the beginning of the year or whether there are other underlying root causes. Openreach have been investigating this issue and will report their findings at the next Service Management forum (3rd Feb)
  • LLU Plan & Build (i.e. POP-sites) – Delivery problems continue although the backlog of survey requests now has confirmed slots in place to recover the situation by end-Feb 2010

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 development for NGA to/from Copper
  • Minimum Security Standards
  • Displaced Mobile Emergency Calls


Rod Smith