OTA2 Update for January 2015

At the end of January 2015 the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.60 million. There are 5.60 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 2.11 million.

Service Level Agreements and Guarantees (SLA/SLG)

At the request of Ofcom within the Fixed Access Market Review (FAMR), OTA2 were required to facilitate negotiations where CPs or Openreach felt that new SLA/SLG were required or where existing SLA/SLG needed to be changed. 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 outside of time window at the request of parties. 

NA

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

NA

No agreement reached

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

Agreed

Agreed

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

Agreed

No agreement reached

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

NA

Agreed

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

NA

Agreed

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

Agreed

NA

SLA/SLG 8 - Cablelink

Agreed

Agreed

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

Agreed

Agreed

The only impasse was with respect to the link of forecasting to the payment of SLGs.
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. Openreach has notified all relevant contract changes and they are in the process of being implemented.

Three additional SLA/SLG proposals have subsequently been made; One from Sky and two from Openreach. The date for conclusion of these discussions was anticipated as17th January 2015. Of these, two have been completed; namely a request to change the reporting times on Care Level 2 which was withdrawn by Openreach and a second, relating to the removal of the Missed Appointment SLG for PCP only GEA-FTTC which was agreed by CPs. On the third proposal, Delivery of GEA in an operational state, an SLA has been agreed but at the end of the 6 month negotiation period no agreement on the SLG quantum was reached. All parties are currently considering how they wish to proceed.

Consumer Switching

Following Ofcom’s consultation on Consumer Switching and the requirement to move to a gaining provider led process, OTA2 were asked to assist in the facilitation of this major change. The task therefore is:

  • 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

  • Key elements of the new ‘NoT’ functionality have 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.
  • A group of all the major Wholesalers & Retailers have plans in place to implement & test their corresponding developments over the period Feb-May’15.
  • Openreach have scheduled a number of ‘dress-rehearsal’ windows(Feb-May’15) whereby the new ‘NoT’ functionality will be ‘switched-on’ in their live (EMP) environment for short periods to afford CPs a time-limited opportunity to fully exercise their own developments well ahead of the ‘actual’ cutover on 20th June’15.
  • This is a great opportunity for CPs to swap test orders & expose any unforeseen defects which can then be resolved/re-tested before 20th June’15
  • A ‘micro-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

As an output from the Senior Industry meetings, OTA2 are required to facilitate programmes that the meeting members believe have a high level of opportunity to improve interworking between Openreach and its customers. These programmes concentrate on the end to end process. Updates against current programmes are:

Fast Recovery

There are a number of areas where Openreach are unable to complete a repair within SLA for reasons beyond their control. This task is to look into those areas of failure to investigate where improvements could be made. A ‘T2R’ (Trouble to Repair) analysis has been undertaken to expose the three major areas of failure which present an opportunity namely:-

  • Specialist Skills are required to complete (5.84%),
  • Needs Civil Engineering (3.83%)
  • CP Issue beyond Openreach control (3.43%).

These areas are currently under review with key CPs to determine potential improvements.

Communication

Many failures in the provision of service or repair are the result of Communication failures, the following set of tasks are designed to seek improvements in Communication:

CPs 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 CPs. Detailed reviews and task setting are now in progress with CPs and Openreach.

1. Cancellation of appointment by Openreach for New Provide

Challenge

  • Current business rules allow an engineering visit to be ‘saved’ on the appointment day – which drives a poor experience as the customer may not have been informed and spends time at home waiting for an engineer who does not need to visit.
  • Make improvements in the Visit Saved process so Openreach can inform CPs earlier or in a better way that no visit is required so that the end customer can be informed.

Progress

  • Original tactical process now operating with both MPF CPs
  • New approach released via EMP in January
  • CPs need to upgrade to consume changes
  • Care to be taken in timing of updating details for Emergency Services
  • Next steps to restrict Visit Saved process to one day before CCD

2. Customer expectation around new site and line plant delays

Challenge

  • Improve the Customer experience of new sites through setting clear expectations at point of sale, giving credible commitment dates and proactively communicate delays.

Progress

  • Dialogue Service response codes have been reviewed and updated to give a more accurate message at point of sale. CPs need to upgrade to consume changes.
  • During order process tactical meaningful messages available via fault and order tracker for where order is delayed
  • New updates to be delivered during 2015 to update and optimise new KCI structure.

3. Management of customer address changes during CP transfer

Challenge

  • Identify and establish why the Openreach ORDI management process is slow in responding to CP requests to correct addresses in advance of transfer.

Progress

  • When a CP raises a change, only 20% can be automated. 80% fall to manual process as the request requires validation due to data inconsistencies. To improve this process it is proposed that the Openreach change dialogue is improved to eliminate obvious errors.
  • Updated Best Practice Guide - Address Management to include Working Line Takeover processes to reduce Erroneous Line Takeovers continue to work bilaterally with CPs to reinforce and ensure alignment with best practice.

4. Problems of informing customers when an appointment has been missed (by either Openreach or the customer)

Challenge

  • Examine the recovery process for when either Openreach or Customer has missed an appointment.
  • Preventative measures such as View My Engineer and improvement in saved visits process should reduce the occurrence.

Progress

  • Ensure with CPs that orders are placed and solutions are tuned in accordance to Best Practice to ensure Openreach has all the key information it needs to enable engineers to provide service right first time and to ensure the hooks are there to identify any barriers or risks to deliver and capture these at the point of sale and communicate these to Openreach.
  • Consume the functionality from each of the three initial phases of Keep Customer Informed Roadmap to ensure the end customer receives the benefits.

5. Improvement in the quality, structure and format of the fault information that CPs give to Openreach based on their discussion with the customers

Challenge

  • Review instances where information flow issues are hampering Openreach engineers resolving customers faults
  • Identify areas of non-compliance according to published Best Practice Guide
  • Review bilaterally what process /systems enhancements are required
  • Develop agreed step change plan
  • Overall aim is to develop a consistent set of inputs and be product agnostic where possible.

Progress

  • Re-submission of the Best Practice Guide for T2R
  • Complete CP amendments to Openreach
  • Identified number of issues information flow in WLR stack, due to be completed by end Jan 15, Investigation continues in the LLU Repeats/note information flow

MBORC (Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control) Transparency

The working group meeting held in December reviewed the 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. During January the process has been tested a few times. A few questions have showed that one or two areas of commentary could be improved.

Number Porting (Fixed Line)

Work is 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.

Separate discussions to improve the time taken by BT/TSO to Activate ISDN30 port requests from CPs, are beginning to bear fruit with additional resource being assigned to this activity in the very near future.

Reduce Consumer Harm

Ofcom-sponsored (& OTA2-led) programme aimed at reducing Consumer complaints due to Erroneous Landline Transfers (ELTs)

Current status

  • Following a lengthy programme of exhaustive root cause analysis and ‘process improvement’ workshops, the volume of ELT complaints from consumers continues to reduce.
  • A new Working Line Takeover - Best Practice Guide is now available to assist CPs in avoiding ELTs & to comply with their new obligations (GC22 - Consumer Switching) regarding the need to achieve Exact Address match when submitting provision orders
  • Further work on-going to establish a more effective industry process for urgent service restoration.

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 7.3 working days during the week commencing 19th 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 an area of focus for the CPs. Whilst the delivery to CDD measurements have somewhat recovered there is little movement in the cycle time measures. Openreach recognise the challenge and are continuing to try to focus on recovering the backlog of jobs and improve the overall throughput. Work to review the DC7 No Access has been agreed and we are awaiting the first view of the underlying data to begin some analysis.

DOJ (Differentiated Order Journey) work continues. The weekly calls have started to keep the CPs up to speed with developments. No formal trial dates have been notified yet but are expected to be early February.

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