OTA2 Update for July 2013

At the end of July the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.16 million. There are 6.13 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 2.07 million.

SLG (Service Level Guarantee) for Appointed Orders – OTA2 Task updates

In support of the new backstop SLG scheme that has recently been introduced for Appointed Orders, OTA2 continue to press ahead with the ‘The OTA2 Tasks’ programme of work.

Task updates as follows: -

1 Visited Late Cancellations

Original target met. CP’s have introduced improvements to reduce unnecessary visits. Openreach are investigating changes to MPF process and are in the process of aligning engineering devices to display second contact number which TTG believe will reduce instances of missed appointments with subsequent cancellation. All agree that remaining activity should now focus on missed appointments.

Given current information the OTA2 believe that this task has been taken as far as it can with CPs. The focus should now be led by Openreach via their CuPID improvement programme. OTA2 will continue to monitor trend.

2 Increased WLTO (Working Line Takeover) adoption

All CPs have introduced full WLTO capability. There is still a variance of WLTO as a percentage of new provides between CPs. Although potentially explained by market position, OTA2 will continue to review this with CPs although no further changes are envisaged at this stage.

3 Reduction in Forced Provides (WLR only)

Not a significant issue with Sky, TTG and BTR (consumer). Reviews have been held with a representative TPI (Third Party Integrator). Further work required with CPs using TPI portal and adoption of New Provide best practice.

4 Improve Reappointing process

The SOR ‘never fail the customer twice’ has now found a way forward using a combination of functions including enhance amend capability. Consumption by CPs will now be dependent upon final pricing.

5 Ensure Appointment availability through the day

Enhance amend capability now on track to be delivered by Openreach

6 Improve Address Matching

Openreach have introduced all planned changes. Data clean should now be completed. Openreach have therefore taken the system to an optimum point.

All CPs have worked with the OTA2 on optimising the selection of Gold Address matching achieving a target of around 90% which is very good.

Work also continues on the Emergency Database handling and potential improvements.

7 Cancelled Repair Visits

All CP’s have reviewed the concern. However the type and impact varies considerably between the CPs.

8 No Access

The main initiative identified was compliance with ‘Appointing Best Practice’. BTR, Sky and TTG have all responded and this is now being absorbed into a CuPID programme which is analysing impact of compliance. The OTA2 are now working with CuPID programme on next steps.

9 Address Matching Clean Up by CPs - Ongoing

10 ELF (Early Life Failure) Concerns

Following concerns raised by Openreach, a lot of time has been spent on reviewing Early Life Failure (ELF) concerns around MPF. The work has now concluded that both MPF and WLR are running at a similar level but with a deterioration over the last twelve months. We have turned our attention to possible root causes and have started to engage with CPs and Openreach through workshops.

  • Breakdown of order type shows that performance is worse for ‘Start of stop’ order type.
  • Openreach examining pre provision test process.
  • Test and Diagnostic forum reviewing effectiveness of overall testing strategy.
  • Initial view shows large proportion of ELFs are in fact DOA’s (within 7 days).
  • Next steps are to pull together Openreach and CP data/inputs and fully implement improvement plan.

Service Levels


The national average lead time for appointed copper provides had been reduced to approximately 8 working days with performance better than SLA (i.e. 13 working days) in ALL Regional patches.

For LLU and WLR Repair, the ‘right first time’ performance for all care levels continues to track an improving trend although LLU and WLR Repair still remain some way short of industry’s expectations

Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

Plan & Build

Delivery performance continues to improve with CDD performance (i.e. on time delivery) now consistently above 90%.

OTA2 chair the Plan & Build industry forum and the engagement with CPs and Openreach has been very productive with major improvements delivered during the Jan-Jun’13 period.

New Inventory Database - One such development has been the introduction of a comprehensive ‘Exchange PoP-site inventory database’ by Openreach, which allows CPs to proactively query the precise availability of space & power at a particular exchange before submitting their orders. This eliminates the need for Openreach to undertake expensive ‘survey’ work and reduces the overall provisioning lead times.

Ethernet Services

As previously reported the programme to upgrade the Systems that support the Ethernet Products has been placed into suspension (22nd February). There was some good engagement with the CPs in the period directly after the suspension; however since April there has been no real CP engagement at all. The

Openreach senior management team have been grappling with the enormity of the problem and have been largely silent with communications to their customers. We are still awaiting sight of the plan for restarting the programme and CPs are expressing concern that the time taken to get to a clear set of strategic goals for the system and for Openreach to share their thoughts on how any new model will work.

In terms of general service the Ethernet products are still experiencing a poor level of performance – there are problems with the delays in planning and the CPs are reporting increasing frustration with the responsiveness of Openreach in any direct communication (job controller answer times have increased significantly) and the jeopardy and escalation processes don’t seem to be as efficient as needed.

On a positive note the engagement with the Product Line is continuing to be very good, CP collaboration on future requirements and service improvement initiatives is very strong. The commercial group is now providing an excellent opportunity for dialogue on the products and the re-launched process group has started to deliver with good early engagement on the future product requirements.

Number Porting (Fixed Line)

As Chair of the Number Port Process & Commercial Group, OTA2 continue to direct the industry stakeholder community to focus on the most important issues and to drive the execution of badly needed improvements to the number porting processes.

Significant progress has been made across a wide range of process improvement initiatives

Good engagement across a wide spectrum of CPs who recognise they have a common aim (i.e. process improvement & GC18 compliance) despite competing interests

To give an indication, the industry group is currently focused on the following issues/topics:

  • Order Handling Process performance – We now have a set of ‘performance’ reports which we review each month and that help to focus our actions for improvement.
  • Process Documentation – Collective effort in train to simplify and update the ‘legacy’ documentation that previously existed.
  • Process re-engineering – To re-engineer the order handling and activation processes to be less error prone and more efficient.
  • Port activations process – Make the process simpler and less error prone
  • Out of Hours support – To establish a industry-wide OOH support capability to cater for the business community
  • ’999’ Emergency Services Database – CP data entry process improvements.
  • Openreach Service improvements (SIP) programme – As the ‘pivotal’ industry participant, Openreach have their own comprehensive SIP which they share & discuss with CPs on a regular basis at the Industry forum

Business Market Service Improvement Programme

Following representations by a number of CPs to Ofcom last summer, that Openreach were not addressing the needs of business focused CPs and their customers, a programme of work was initiated in autumn 2012 between of Business CPs and Openreach to review what improvements might be achieved for copper based products (WLR, ISDN, MPF, MMPF and SMPF).

30 Business CPs are now involved in this activity. A suite of Business KPIs has been developed which have identified some key variances in the service levels experienced by Business focused CPs versus that of industry as a whole. Collaborative activity is ongoing across these areas to understand the root cause and where appropriate to implement recovery plans. The activity has also started to deliver some BAU improvements to processes and has spawned several new business orientated product developments. It has also provided a route via which some issues have been flagged for quicker visibility and resolution.

The key area of CP dissatisfaction with the improvement activity has been jeopardy management. Business CPs had consistently stated that their main priority is that when things go wrong, that it is key recovery is dealt with in a way which enables them to update customers in a manner providing certainty over what would be undertaken and when. There has however been a step change in engagement in this area over the last month and there is now good collaboration regarding the introduction of a new escalations model supporting case management of escalations.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

The ‘OTA2 Tasks’ Programme to support new Backstop SLG scheme

  • 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 number porting - Improvements
  • Service levels (LLU/WLR/Ethernet)
  • Minimum Security Standards
  • Plan & Build Performance Issues
  • Business Market Service Improvements


CPs agreed that NGNuk would be put in a dormant state at the end of March 2013.

Activity is continuing with the UK Accreditation Service regarding accrediting the certification scheme for ND1643 (Minimum Security Standard), although this is currently awaiting NICC to update the controls document associated with the Standard.

Rod Smith