OTA2 Update for April 2010

At the end of April, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.70 million. There are 6.01 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 3.48 million.


During April our progress against the objectives we set ourselves has continued (see updates below) although there were no significant new additions to our workstack in the month.

When OTA2 was first created at the beginning of the rollout of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU), the work that we reported on in this monthly update could be characterised as lots of relatively small but very important improvements to processes that eventually contributed to the enormous success that LLU has become today.

Whilst we still work with stakeholders on making sure that LLU continues to evolve to the benefit of consumers and the industry, much of the work that we take on today is much more complex in terms of fewer small step improvements and more large scale studies into things like Migration Process improvements, Ethernet, Number Porting and so on.

As a result I feel, as I write this update each month, that there is insufficient tangible change in the status of the main subject areas to keep its target audience fully informed on a monthly basis. However, I am also very aware that there are many people who value the monthly update for the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that we publish within our report.

Therefore I propose to change the frequency of these reports as follows:

  • Every month – Publish KPI’s
  • Every Quarter – Publish a full update including KPI’s

If items come up, or sufficient progress is made against a particular milestone, we will publish a full update at the end of the relevant month rather than wait until the quarter end comes around. In this way we hope to keep this report relevant and our audience properly informed.

If you have any concerns or questions about this new approach I would be happy to hear from you on rod.smith@offta.org.uk

Overall Openreach Industry Commitment Delivery progress

Whilst the overall delivery of Openreach Industry Commitments (OICs) remains largely on track there are a growing number which are going into delay for reasons which are being investigated by OTA2 and Openreach as a matter of urgency.  Specific updates for:-

  • New EMP Consumption model – ALL CPs have given their full support to moving ahead with the necessary preparation work needed to transition to a new EMP Consumption Model, and whilst the majority of CPs have now committed to the timetable which Openreach have proposed (i.e. R1600-March 2011 to be 1st release delivered under new model), it may be necessary to reset the target to R1700-July 2011 in order to accommodate the 1 or 2 CPs who have their own major systems development programmes underway at the same time. For this plan to succeed, ALL CPs need to commit. OTA2 continue to assist Openreach in their discussions with CPs.
  • 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. However the content conversion and creation has been slow to start. It is important that this activity starts to make serious headway for CP’s to be convinced that the new system will be furnished with updated usable content.
  • Data Integrity - Address Data issues - A number of Tactical remedies are being progressed pending development of a ‘strategic’ solution which is still being defined by BT Architects. The scale of the problem is considered to be significant with many transactions requiring expensive re-work effort on the part of CPs and Openreach. Despite this being a major OIC, we still await a ‘delivery’ date for the strategic solution.

Migrations Processes Review

  • MAC/AoT 'as-is' process review project -A draft report has been completed and is now under review with Stakeholders. The report details the major weaknesses and possible remedies for both AOT and MAC processes. A multilateral workshop is planned for end of May to assess the ‘do-ability’, in terms of costs/timescales, of the proposed remedies.
  • Reduce Erroneous Landline Transfers/Disconnects - A comprehensive root cause analysis of actual incidents has been completed. 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. In the meantime, a more recent set of consumer complaint data is being assessed in order to validate the findings from the previous dataset
  • Establish Effective Emergency Restoration Process - Various options are still being evaluated by Openreach and OTA2. Unfortunately, lack of expert Openreach resource has meant progress has been very slow but this has been escalated and renewed commitments have now been received.

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. In the opinion of Openreach those CP’s looking to engage in WLR3 upgrade between now and September are at medium risk of completing the conversion. Those leaving it to post September / October 2010 are at a high risk of completing the conversion in time.
  • 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.

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 an 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.  Unfortunately, the fifth network operator has once again delayed the implementation of the software facility to enable Emergency Roaming. We await further detail from them of their plans.

Connectivity Services – Strategic Product Development

The OTA2 has facilitated three sessions between industry and Openreach looking at the industry requirements for a multi CP aggregation product.

A further audio session of the group has been held to work through the high level output from the three workshops – The CPs have been actioned to provide comments and begin to look at the application of a product within their networks.

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 including bad weather
  • These issues are being addressed by Openreach internally and in collaboration with CPs via the Industry 'service management' forum which meets each month. Openreach have agreed to present their 2010/2011 service level targets and plans to achieve them at the next OTA2 Executive meeting in June.

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
  • Fixed line porting - Improvements
  • 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