OTA2 Update for February 2010

At the end of February, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.49 million. There are 6.02 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 3.62 million.


Last month I reported on the progress we had made on a number of major programmes over the last 12 months and headlined a couple of major initiatives that are driving our focus for this year.

Our work on improving the Consumer experience is really gathering pace, particularly in identifying the issues that can cause what is referred to as an ‘Erroneous Transfer’ – where a consumer has their service transferred in error. We are seeking to eliminate the causes and are hoping to put in place a fast restoration process so that, if an erroneous transfer does occur, restoration of service is simpler and faster than today. We are grateful for the co-operation of both Openreach and CPs who are as keen as we are to make progress.

The other significant piece of our work on the Consumer experience is around looking for ways of improving the existing migrations processes, known as MAC and AoT. We have worked with industry to gather the required data and are currently in the analysis stage. Multilateral workshops are planned in the coming weeks to determine action plans.

Also, we reported last month that we had initiated a piece of work, in partnership with the Number Portability Commercial group, to seek improvements to the number porting process which does not meet the needs of all stakeholders today. We have issued a first draft problem statement in order to frame the discussions and await formal feedback but are encouraged by the positive reaction we have received from a number of interested parties.

We continue to make good progress on our work on Minimum Security Standards and in February we had signed Codes of Practice from additional CPs.

Openreach have requested OTA2 assistance in the CP engagement for their Strategic review of Ethernet Products.

Further detail on all these items can be found below.

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 – Industry are in the process of responding to Openreach with a view to confirming (or not) their ability to sign up at the end of March to the four proposals. Although the majority of CPs believe the benefits make good sense, the new model requires development of CPs own systems to implement.
    • 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, Contracts
      • EMP Releases – Alignment to the EMP Consumption model and the new Concept to Market (C2M) process
      The re-write process is in train. New style documents and information have been developed for the Service Harmonisation project and have now been posted in the project area of the portal.

      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. An Industry workshop has been timetabled with a view to exploring how best to solve the ever increasing complexities of address and infrastructure matching for a range of products.
    • New SOR on-line tool – Openreach have now loaded the backlog of all pre-existing SOR’s, closed and open, on to their tracker tool. 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 - There are several work streams in progress which are targeted to complete in Q1 2010:

  • MAC/AoT ‘as-is’ process review project –A consolidated view of the initial CP input with supporting evidence has been drafted and presented to the OTA2 Executive. Next step is to develop a comprehensive plan of improvement through multilateral workshops over the next month.
  • Reduce Erroneous Landline Transfers/Disconnects - A comprehensive root cause analysis of actual incidents has been completed and a report produced. These findings have now been shared with CPs on a multilateral basis. The next step is to 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 OTA2. 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 12 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

The OTA2 has been requested by Openreach to assist with the facilitation of the CP engagement and requirements gathering phase of their strategic product development review. The inaugural meeting of the working group has taken place and a briefing to the wider CP community explaining the process has been undertaken. Good progress has been made in starting to define the areas of interest and further sessions are planned.

A document aiming to clarify the operational principles coming from Ofcom’s BCMR (Business Connectivity Market Review) has been written by the OTA2 and agreed with Ofcom, and is now with Openreach for their comment.

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.

Service Levels

Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

  • Provisioning & Repair performance (LLU & WLR) have begun to recover although actual performance still lags the agreed staircase targets. The view from Openreach remains that the previous deterioration was mainly down to the adverse weather conditions although areas such as MPF 20 hour repair cannot be fully explained at present.
  • 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
  • Openreach Ethernet strategic Product review
  • BCMR principles agreement


Rod Smith