OTA2 Update for March 2010

At the end of March, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.62 million. There are 6.03 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 3.55 million.

General

During March our focus has been on making progress on the consumer experience issues we highlighted last month - erroneous transfers, customer migrations and number porting. All of these subjects are complex and a great deal of work has gone into research and collation of data, which is still ongoing.

It is clear that the stakeholder community see the potential value that improvements in these areas could bring and we are grateful for the contributions we are receiving.

We have also been engaged with both Openreach and Ofcom in helping to clarify questions over processes in the provision of business connectivity services, along with providing assistance to Openreach in the CP engagement for their Strategic review of Ethernet Products.

Close watchers of the KPI measures that we publish each month will be aware that Openreach performance has fallen below their target levels in recent months. In large part the adverse weather conditions that we experienced over the last few months severely limited their ability to hit the projected levels. Improvements have been apparent as we returned to a more stable weather pattern.

 However some of the KPIs are below the levels anticipated and further reviews and analysis are underway to develop the 10/11 improvement plans.  The plans will cover L2C and T2R across all products and will incorporate the learning from 09/10.   In view of the impact of poor forecasting by some CP's on KPI performance, we will be urging CP's to adhere to the forecasting Code of Practice, agreed with Industry last year.
Further detail on all these items can be found below.

Product Development Roadmap

  • Concept to Market (C2M) developments. Following comments from Industry and OTA2, Openreach have proposed an Industry engagement strategy to match the internal C2M plan. At present this has only been presented to Copper Products Commercial Group. The plan is to share these ideas further with other Industry groups. The objective is to ensure that full Industry engagement is established when making key development and commercial decisions. Once accepted a plan of work will be identified to implement approach.
  • New SOR on-line tool -Most current SOR's have now been shared. An amount of feedback has been received on how the tool can be improved. This will be used in the next phase of development. 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.
  • 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. Within the next two weeks the CP's position will be better understood. This will be reviewed in the next report.
      • 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 although has suffered some delays due to matching of skills to subject. This shortfall is now being addressed.
  • 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 was held and identified a number of concerns across the major Openreach products. Further investigative work is now underway including a questionnaire to Industry to establish opinion of options. The way forward is likely to be a combination of both tactical and strategic solutions.

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. Based on the analysis derived so far, a draft plan of improvement has been developed and is being socialised with CPs through a combination of multilateral & bilateral workshops.
  • 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. Based on feedback from CPs a short/medium term plan of action to address the root causes is being developed. The most significant root cause has been identified as 'incorrect address' being entered at point of order placement, and this error not being picked up by the 'safety net' process before the rogue order is actually implemented, i.e. wrong line taken over. There are various 'micro'-root causes behind these issues each of which need specific remedies which are being developed.
  • 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 18.7% 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.

Openreach are raising their concerns directly with CP stakeholders at the most senior levels. The transition 'glide path' needed to successfully complete the 'WLR2 Sunset' milestone is already behind schedule suggesting extraordinary effort is now needed on the part of Openreach and remaining WLR2 CPs to get the programme back on track.

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 inspection 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.
We are awaiting the final implementation plans from the final operator to implement the LSS capability on their network. It is still anticipated that this will complete by the end of March.

Connectivity Services - Product development issues

The OTA2 has facilitated three sessions between industry and Openreach looking at the industry requirements for a multi CP aggregation product - the sessions were well supported by industry and the exercise has delivered a set of outlines for the products - Openreach are now in the process of working the outlines into a draft product and assessing its commerciality.
Openreach have responded to the OTA2 BCMR principles document and a clarification meeting has been held between the OTA2 and senior Openreach staff. As a result of the meeting Openreach have agreed to raise a number of points with Ofcom and subsequently brief the CPs on their position.

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) continues to be problematic for a variety of reasons i.e. bad weather impacting repair work, high volume of 'unforecast' provide volumes leading to critical resource shortfalls (e.g. equipment and engineers).

These issues are being addressed by Openreach internally and in collaboration with CPs via the Industry 'service management' forum which meets each month.

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 Transfers 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