OTA2 Update for August 2014

At the end of August 2014 the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.36 million. There are 5.65 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 2.18 million.

Service Level Agreements and Guarantees

Further to a proposal from Sky suggesting that OTA2 commence work with industry to consider improvements that might be made to the SLAs/SLGs offered by Openreach, a list of 8 industry requests covering Copper/NGA were submitted in April. Three additional SLA/SLG proposals have subsequently been made; One from Sky and two from Openreach. All will run to their own 6 month timetable.
There are weekly meetings between all parties regarding the over-arching Programme. Discussions remain constructive. On a number of the SLA/SLG proposals a mutually acceptable position appears to be feasible with good progress being made.

Ethernet CPs have also submitted a set of proposals for SLA/SLG on EAD. Openreach have confirmed their willingness to adopt a similar approach. Negotiations were suspended as some CPs felt they could not support the approach initially agreed. These CPs have now resubmitted a revised proposal to Openreach and a formal response is awaited.

Consumer Switching


Following on from Ofcom’s Statement on Consumer Switching (http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/consumer-switching-review/statement/), OTA2 continue to host regular ‘working group’ sessions that have been well attended by a broad range of stakeholders.
Steady progress is being made across the full spectrum of CP Stakeholders. Much effort is being invested in securing the active engagement of CPs at the smaller end of the spectrum as they are very large in number & will need to ensure they have the necessary plans in place to support the planned cutover to the new switching process on 20th June 2015.

The larger Wholesalers (inc. Openreach) have already tailored their development release plans to deliver key elements of the new ‘Notice of Transfer’ switching process functionality well ahead of the target cutover date so that Retailers & Resellers can identify/resolve any defects in good time.

Copper Service Improvements

ELF (Early Life Failure) Improvements

The OTA2 have been working with Openreach to assess the best way to manage the various derivatives of FTTC ELF’s. An outline measure has now been developed and is now under review. Once the process is stabilised the measures will be shared with CP’s for review.

OTA2 Tasks

A review with some CP’s has agreed that it would be pragmatic to focus on one of the three themes developed between the OTA2 and Openreach. The proposal is to focus on Communication. The OTA2 are currently gathering concerns from CP’s and Openreach that can be converted into a new programme.
The other two themes Preventing Failure and Fast Recovery will continue in background.

Number Porting (Fixed Line)

    • Industry-Wide Order Handling - Performance Issues
    • Openreach have overcome the issues which badly affected their handling performance in July, with normal service levels now resumed.
    • A workshop was held recently to examine the existing Openreach ‘number port escalations’ process & a number of improvements have been identified which will be developed/implemented in the coming weeks.

MBORC Transparency

A trial was run following the weather issues at the end July and beginning of August for MBORC MB10058 using 4 of the 13 SOM’s affected. This trial process was reviewed at the 20th August meeting. A refined view will be regenerated following CP feedback. A follow up meeting has been set for September with a view of launching the transparency process on the 1st November 2014.

Service Levels

Copper Repair: Copper repair performance (LLU & WLR) has flattened-off in recent weeks with ‘on time repair’ averaging only 65-70% currently.
Copper Provision: Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, is a creditable 9 working days (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).
Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

Ethernet Services

Service Delivery continues to be a problem with unacceptably high lead times for delivery. CPs continue to raise concerns over procedural changes which are being implemented without any reference to industry, which causes more confusion and conflict at the working level. Openreach have recently appointed a new head of end to end Ethernet delivery and are seeking to inject some stability into the service delivery of the product.
The work to define the shape of the Ethernet products going forward continues, this is proving quite challenging given the state of the service problems and the levels of trust as a result. The base lining of EMP capability has moved forward with a concerted effort to review the challenges of taking a single element (blocked duct). The first meeting of a small working group looking at baselining has taken place which was challenging from the view of flushing out more of the complexity surrounding the information flow during an order. Further sessions are planned.

Business Market Service Improvement Programme

One of the key areas for Business CPs is Jeopardy Management, which has been a longstanding area of concern. Openreach announced a new strategic direction in this area that seeks to establish a more proactive approach to anticipating issues and to their recovery. This superseded the previous process for escalations implemented in Autumn 2013. Many of the CP personnel associated with the business work streams were also needed to support this new jeopardy approach so it was been agreed to scale back some of the business market activities to facilitate this. In line with this lower intensity, face to face reviews have been scaled back to quarterly.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • ELF reduction programme
  • Address Data Matching Integrity issues
  • WLR/LLU Process development
  • Ethernet Process Development
  • Ethernet Strategic Systems review
  • Strategic Review of Consumer Switching
  • Erroneous Fixed Line Transfers activity
  • Urgent Service Restoration Process
  • Fixed line number porting - Improvements
  • Service levels (LLU/WLR/Ethernet)
  • Minimum Security Standards
  • Plan & Build Performance Issues
  • SLA/SLG Developments

Rod Smith