OTA2 Update for April 2012

At the end of April the number of unbundled lines stands at 8.29 million. There are 6.32 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 2.46 million.


‘Backstop’ SLG (Service Level Guarantee) for Appointed Orders

The SLG regime that has been implemented is now conditional upon a degree of forecasting accuracy for the largest CP’s in terms of orders placed that require appointments. This means only Regions that were forecasted with an accuracy of greater than 90% will be eligible for SLG payments. As a guide forecasting CP’s were better than 90% for more than half of all regions in February.


The increased effort by CP’s in developing and providing forecasts has been gathering pace. Because of the delay in finalising ‘Net Demand’ only January and February outturns have been confirmed. March result is due shortly with an estimate and April will follow thereafter. Focus is now being applied to improving accuracy at a regional level.

Service Differentiation

The OTA2 hosted a review of Service Differentiation in April with Openreach and CP’s. A number of concerns were raised from both Openreach and CP perspectives. This was fed back to the parties at a senior level resulting in greater clarification as to what is being proposed. On this basis the OTA2 intend to reconvene the working discussion to establish how this proposal may operate to the benefit of all.

OTA2 Improvement Workstreams

In support of the overall SLG introduction programme, OTA2 have also been tasked to run a series of improvement programmes in parallel to streamline the provision process as much as possible. The programmes are:-

  • Improve Cancellation Rates

    Detailed reviews completed with one lead CP. Final review will develop one truth reconciling the different definitions seen from both CP and Openreach. This will allow a consistent analysis of root cause.

Two CP’s already have extensive cancellation reduction programmes, which is resulting in a downward trend of cancellations.

One CP has now managed to extract data and is conducting a full review. This output can then be compared to an overall Industry view.

Late cancellations still represents around a third of all cancellations and cause the greatest problems through missed appointments and ‘on the doorstep’ cancellations. There does however appear to be a close relationship to missed appointments.

Initial proposal is to develop a commercially driven incentive to reduce the number of unnecessary truck rolls on day 0. i.e. where the CP advises Openreach beyond the point of no return.

MPF and WLR reservation window both now at 24 hours removing all previous inconsistencies.

  • Review Appointment Process

A product process map with proposed best practice has been developed and tested with a TPI (Third Party Integrator) especially in relation to Forced appointed provides.

An assessment of product charges raised against robot cancelled appointments has been requested of Openreach to determine financial motivation for CP’s to change practice.

SOR’s raised by Sky, plus investigations into cancellation reasons, have exposed some variations on MPF provision process that needs to be reflected in the overall proposed best practice guide. There is also a developing argument that commonality of design for MPF and WLR will aid efficient practice of change of orders. Review planned with Openreach

To overcome CP/TPI interpretation, a best practice guide is now in draft form that recommends how best to make non forced appointments, allowing Openreach to optimise its use of the robot as part of visit reduction.

A red-amber-green notation has been used in line with previous best practice guides. This will be issued by the OTA.

A request to test at -5 CCD timescale is also awaiting a response from Openreach.

Overall benefit will be to significantly reduce unnecessary truck rolls.

  • Improve Address Matching Rates

Openreach held an Industry review on 31st January. Requests to CP’s to quantify associated benefit was sent out by OTA2. First view of the responses were reported back to OTA2 Executive on 26th April. A wider response will be initially channelled through the Copper and Ethernet industry commercial groups

Plan & Build

OTA2 have now hosted the first 2 ‘Plan & Build’ meetings and both have been well attended by industry and Openreach.

The OTA2 have been working with Openreach to find a more accurate method of reporting back on Infrastructure performance via an unpacking of the life cycle measurement. The initial set has been presented back to Industry for comment and will be finally reviewed at the 1st May meeting. It is hoped that this will allow all to focus on the areas for improvement. Work continues on the limited proactive survey of exchanges that were unable to meet CP demand or likely to be a target of a national based bid. It is anticipated that more focus will be placed on opportunity to execute proactive surveys at the next meeting.

Ethernet Services

As previously reported the EST (Ethernet Systems Transformation) programme went live in January for EAD. CPs are now beginning to test the system and supporting processes utilising both the B2B gateway and the EST portal. Concerns are being raised over the structural suitability of the system and serious gaps in the expected improved functionality as compared to the ECOx portal.

Openreach are in the process of developing a roadmap of systems improvement which will demonstrate how they will develop the system to address some of the CP issues, we await this document with much interest.

Passive Infrastructure Access

As previously reported the PIA product is now launched. We await a CP to take the product offering up and develop a PIA proposition.

The Industry Group meeting will continue to address any product issues – the Trialist Working Group will shortly be wound down with any remaining issues being passed to the IWG.

Minimum Security Standard

The revised Communications Act 2003 and associated security changes came into force on the 25th May in line with the contents of the EU Framework Directive.

In their document “Ofcom guidance on security requirements in the revised Communications Act 2003 - Implementing the revised EU Framework” Ofcom sets o00000000ut their guidance for CPs on the changes. This is available at ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/policy/security-resilience. This guidance includes information on Interconnect Security and references the NICC Minimum Security Standard.

The NICC Minimum Security Standard ND1643 (covering interconnect security) can be viewed via the NICC web site at niccstandards.org.uk.

Number Porting (Fixed Line)

OTA2 continue to work with industry to drive a wide range of badly needed process improvements. A particular focus has been to produce an up to date list of commercial contacts for every CP to whom Ofcom has allocated a number range since day 1. This is now bearing fruit in that we have a seen a noticeable increase in interest from smaller CPs and resellers who seem to experience many of the process issues we need to tackle. This community have a key role to play in helping us to identify the improvements needed.

One of the biggest concerns expressed by CPs & Resellers is the complex nature of the Number Porting process and supporting documentation. Our aim is to significantly simplify the processes (and documentation) and to make this information (inc. Contacts) readily available via a new web site.

Statement of Requirement review

SoRs are submitted by CPs to Openreach to initiate a request by industry for Openreach to consider product developments and changes. Following some concerns raised with the EAO and its reporting to EAB, OTA2 and Openreach undertook a review of SoRs submitted in the period 2010 and 2011. This identified a number of errors, which have been corrected. A number of process and reporting changes were agreed with Openreach which seek to ensure that data accuracy will be maintained.

Strategic Review of Consumer Switching

In advance of the second consultation document to be published by Ofcom, OTA2 were asked to run a working group to review the opportunities for improving Working Line Takeover (used extensively for home movers) with the previously articulated and reviewed gaining / loosing provider based options. A meeting was held in March and a follow up is due in May after considering CP feedback from the meeting and other subsequent responses.

Service Levels

Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

OTA2 Industry Meetings

OTA2 has published the schedule of industry meetings for 2012. These are available via the ‘CP Info’ tab on this website.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • New ‘backstop’ SLG for appointed orders
  • Address Data Matching Integrity issues
  • WLR/LLU Process development
  • Connectivity Services Process Development
  • Ethernet strategic Product review
  • Strategic Review of Consumer Switching
  • Erroneous Fixed Line Transfers activity
  • Fixed line porting - Improvements
  • Service levels (LLU/WLR/Ethernet)
  • Minimum Security Standards
  • PIA - Passive Infrastructure Access
  • VULA – Virtual unbundled line access
  • Plan & Build Performance Issues
  • Plan & Build – new SLA/SLG schem

Rod Smith