OTA2 Update for June 2014

At the end of June 2014 the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.32 million. There are 5.68 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. Although the Ofcom Fixed Access Market Review (FAMR) had not been published when we began this task, with the agreement of all parties we are attempting to follow the process suggested within the FAMR of a maximum of six months for completion of this task.

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.

Although outside of the FAMR remit, Ethernet CPs have also submitted a set of proposals for SLA/SLG on EAD. Openreach have confirmed their willingness to adopt a similar approach and have provided their initial response to the CP proposals, although at this point the two sides seem a long way apart.

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 fortnightly ‘working group’ sessions which have been well attended by a broad range of stakeholders.
The working group has now settled on a specific implementation strategy that will enable CPs to test & deploy some of the new ‘consumer switching’ functionality well ahead of Ofcom’s prescribed target date of June 2015.

Committed development plans have now been registered by the major (Wholesaler) Stakeholders with the programme team, enabling detailed work to commence in producing a consolidated ‘Industry’ plan.
A separate piece of work is in train to produce a detailed communications plan which will ensure all stakeholders are made aware of the programme objectives & their role within it. 

The overall programme objective remains: - By June 2015, to implement a Harmonised Gaining Provider-led NoT (Notice of Transfer) Switching Process for any consumers looking to switch their voice and/or broadband services to a new Service Provider.

Number Porting (Fixed Line)

As Chair of the Number Port Process & Commercial Group, OTA2 continue to work with 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. A new Multi-Line Number Port Order Handling process was recently launched and CP feedback to-date has been very positive.

A new initiative is underway to establish an Industry-wide performance ‘dashboard’ to provide stakeholders with a badly-needed view of their individual & collective number porting performance.

ELF (Early Life Failure) Concerns

Work continues to assess the impact of a few initiatives on preventing ELF. A refresh of the data source is also underway to ensure the measures are true and are not diluted by other activities. Openreach also plan to provide early GEA data shortly for assessment.

MBORC Transparency

The next MBORC (Matters Beyond our Reasonable Control) working Group will be held in the coming few days. The plan is to emulate a previous event to demonstrate how new data will be provided to CP’s during an MBORC. Discussion of MIS proposals will also be covered. A full update will be given next month.

OTA2 Tasks

Following discussions with Openreach and CP’s three tasks have been identified for progression.

  • New Sites provision improvements
  • Repair Glass Ceiling opportunities
  • ELFs including NGA performance

Discussions are now underway to identify specifics and potential targets.

Service Levels

  • Copper Repair: Copper repair performance (LLU & WLR) has unfortunately continued to deteriorate with ‘on time repair’ dropping to 65% in June.
  • Copper Provision: Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, is a creditable 8.3 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. Openreach have made significant changes to the delivery and control organisations but, from the CPs perspective, there is little sign of the expected recovery in performance. CPs are also raising concerns over procedural changes which are being implemented without any reference to industry which causes more confusion and conflict at the working level.

The work to redefine the EAD product and to move the delivery system to EMP is continuing. The bi-lateral meetings with CPs have been held and the product blueprint shared. The next stage is to explore some of the difficult challenges such as self-appointing.

The base-lining of EMP capability has moved forward with a concerted effort to review the challenges of taking a single element (blocked duct) and reviewing the supporting operational and systems procedures to ensure that the move to EMP can support the multiplicity of variations thrown up by encountering a blocked duct.

Business Market Service Improvement Programme

One of the key areas for Business CPs is Jeopardy Management, which has been a long standing 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