OTA2 Update for December 2014

At the end of December 2014 the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.55 million. There are 5.64 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 2.14 million.

Service Level Agreements and Guarantees

Following the process established by Ofcom’s Fixed Access Market Review (FAMR), an initial list of eight industry requests for review and amendment of SLA/SLG covering Copper/NGA were submitted in April to close mid-October. CPs and Openreach agreed to extend discussions which concluded end-November.

At the conclusion of the formal process the status was as follows:

Copper-GEA SLA/SLG Proposal

SLA Status

SLG Status

SLA/SLG 1A – Appointment Availability Target of 6 working days

No agreement within timescale. Progressing bilaterally. 


SLA/SLG 1B – Forecasting regime and linkage to SLGs


No agreement reached

SLA/SLG 2  - Providing a Contractually Committed Date [CCD] within a maximum timescale



SLA/SLG 3 – Provision of Non-Appointed orders within a maximum timescale


No agreement reached

SLA/SLG 4 - Parity of payments: End-user & Openreach Missed Appointments



SLA/SLG 5 - Higher SLG payments when Care Level 3 & 4 SLA is not met



SLA/SLG 7 – Enhanced Service Credit mechanism for ELF & DoAs



SLA/SLG 8 - Cablelink



SLA/SLG 9 – Availability of Openreach provided AC and DC power serving co-mingling facility and for subsequent remedial work



The only impasse was with respect to the link of forecasting to the payment of SLGs, whereby a link exists today and some CPs wished to have this link removed. This impasse prevented reaching any level of agreement in two areas of SLG negotiation. OTA2 did not, however, see any grounds to refer these to Ofcom.

Three additional SLA/SLG proposals have subsequently been made; One from Sky and two from Openreach. One has subsequently been withdrawn and another agreed. The date for conclusion of these discussions is 17th January.

Consumer Switching

The Industry task set by Ofcom

  • By June 2015, to implement a single Harmonised Gaining Provider-led NoT (Notice of Transfer) Switching Process for any consumers intending to switch their voice and/or broadband services to a new Service Provider. The biggest challenge is to replace the Losing Provider-led MAC-based process currently used to switch broadband-only services with the Gaining Provider-led NoT Switching process

Current Status

  • Most of the new ‘NoT’ functionality has now been enabled by Openreach & BT Wholesale within their ‘Live’ trading systems affording CPs the opportunity to test their own developments well ahead of the planned cutover in June’15.
  • All other major Wholesalers & Retailers have plans in place to implement & test their corresponding upgrades over the period Feb-Apr’15.
  • A detailed ‘cutover’ plan is now being developed as this will define the sequence of events running up to & beyond the point at which Openreach ‘turn-on’ the new NoT functionality on 20th June’15.

OTA2 Tasks

Fast Recovery, The T2R (Trouble to Repair) analysis has been enhanced to expose the three major areas of opportunity namely:-

  • The Specialist Skill required (5.84%),
  • Needs Civil Engineering (3.83%) and
  • CP Issue (3.43%).

These areas are currently under review with key CP’s to ascertain potential improvements.

Communication, CP’s and Openreach were canvassed for most immediate problems. The total list was then reduced to 5 key tasks. Detailed discussions were held with Openreach on potential cause and opportunity and an initial summary review was held with CP’s. Detailed reviews and task setting are now in progress with CP’s and Openreach.

  • Cancellation of appointment by Openreach for New Provide. Customer communications and expectation.
    • Significant work has been done by Openreach and CP’s. Openreach have a program of work which enhances the communication process for MPF through EMP. This brings it into line with WLR.
    • Customer expectation around new site and line plant delays
    • A long term solution is under development through the improved KCI programme of work. A number of tactical changes have been introduced to provide better KCI-D updates.
  • Management of customer address changes during CP transfer
    • The general complaint is the speed of change. Analysis has shown that 90% of requests default to manual intervention due to conflicting information provided by CP’s. Work is underway to identify improvement opportunities.
    • Problems of informing customers when an appointment has been missed (by either Openreach or the customer)
    • This area of work is subject to ongoing investigation. When completed an update will be provided.
  • Improvement in the quality, structure and format of the fault information that CPs give Openreach based on the discussion with the customers
    • Analysis has shown that there are gaps in the data on fault history that is passed to the engineer. Also improvements in information passed to Openreach from CP’s is also underway with various CP’s

MBORC Transparency

The working group meeting held in December reviewed current process. It was agreed that this would be revisited in April. Work continues on the local MBORC. The next steps are to consider how Incident Management couples with LMBORC.

Number Porting (Fixed Line)

Work on-going to establish a new Performance Measurements Dashboard & to re-engineer the Multiline Order handling process to reduce the high level of re-work still being incurred by CPs.

Service Levels

Copper Repair: Copper repair performance (LLU & WLR) has been stable in recent weeks with ‘on time repair’ averaging 73% during December’14.

Copper Provision: Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, is stable averaging 5.5 working days during the first week in Jan’15 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Over the last few months OTA2 have been working with Openreach to transition the KPI reports to a new reporting system. This system provides us with improved accuracy and has also allowed us to review how the measures are captured. We have run a few parallel reports over the last few weeks and are happy that the data provided is in line with previous system and in some cases more accurate. We have also taken the opportunity to include measures for the new Business 2+ premium repair product which will be progressively introduced. Finally with the advent of the recent FAMR (Fixed Access Market Review) we have removed the historic targets as this will now be monitored through the FAMR process with Ofcom.
Our KPI charts show current performance levels.

Ethernet Services

Service provision remains the area for most concern for CPs. Openreach are signalling that work stack fluidity is becoming a major problem, however the issues surrounding fluidity are not simple and this will require a significant level of work to unpick and resolve. One of the main areas of issue is No Access (DC7). It has been proposed that this becomes an OTA2 task whereby we can work through the process from both the CP and the Openreach point of view and seek to resolve the underlying process of engagement.

DOJ (Differentiated Order Journey) work continues with the proposed tail exchanges being shared with CPs. There are a number of questions surrounding the operation of the trial which CPs are very keen to resolve before the trial kicks off in earnest in February. A weekly update call (Friday 1pm) has been set up for industry to be briefed on progress.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • Business Market Service Improvement Programme
  • OTA2 Tasks on Communication.
  • 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)
  • Plan & Build Performance Issues


Rod Smith