OTA2 Update for November 2015

At the end of November 2015 the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.84 million. There are 5.55 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.95 million.

The following is an update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2.
Members of the OTA2 team also chair several Industry forums:-

  • Copper & Fibre Products Commercial Group (CFPCG)
  • Copper & Fibre Products Process Group (CFPPG)
  • Service Management Forum (SMF)
  • Number Port Process & Commercial Group (NPP&CG)
  • Ethernet Transformation Steering Group (ETSG)
  • Ethernet Commercial Group (ECG)
  • Infrastructure Service Forum (ISF, ex-Plan & Build Forum)
  • Consumer Switching Industry Forum (CSIF)

A major focus for OTA2 in recent months has been the tasks set out by Ofcom in the Fixed Access Market Review and the Business Connectivity Market Review, both of which require OTA2 to work with Openreach and Industry to review areas where SLA/SLG measures might be amended  to better meet the needs of all stakeholders.

SLA/SLG Work streams

Copper and Fibre

A 3rd tranche of SLA/SLG had been submitted on 10 November 2015 comprising of 10 proposals; six from CPs and four from Openreach. These will be dealt with under the FAMR process, so the formal end date of negotiations is 10 May 2016. The proposals relate to:

  • Payment of missed appointment SLGs for cancelled orders and faults
  • Payment of Late Repair SLGs following an incorrect Line Test OK (LTOK) response
  • Payment of Late Provision SLGs for cancelled provision orders
  • Payment of SLGs for WLR sub-order types
  • Continuous payment of SLGs for repeat faults
  • Payment of SLGs for FTTC Dead On Arrivals showing ADSL service as working
  • Calculation of WLR3 late provision SLG payments
  • LLU MPF and SMPF late provision SLG quantum
  • LLU SMPF 12 week repair SLG
  • LLU MPF SLG payments on late KCI3/completion notice of repair

In addition a place holder for SLAs for Planning Activities was made by industry, which it is hoped will be submitted shortly.

Ethernet EAD

Further to activity initiated in July, CPs and Openreach continue to review the changes to SLA/SLG proposed by CPs. The most significant change CPs are seeking is the abolition of Deemed Consent. At this time, although some progress has been made, both parties remain a significant distance apart and the target date for completion of the negotiations, of December 2015, will not be met. Matters have been complicated as elements of the discussions are predicated on factors outside of the SLG discussions, such as agreement on underlying processes.

Service Management Forum (SMF)

The October SMF covered the current performance of Openreach including the various measures being taken recently to combat an increased Repair workstack brought about by adverse weather conditions being experienced in certain parts of the UK.

Openreach also provided a comprehensive update on their ‘lead-to-cash’ transformation programme which will deliver a range of specific improvements enabled by multiple EMP releases between now & June 2016.

A new ‘Network Incident Communications Helpdesk’ is being launched by Openreach on 30 November 2015 and will be open 8 am till 5 pm, Monday to Friday. The Helpdesk will provide proactive daily summary communications on the larger known network affecting issues for both copper and fibre.

OTA2 tasks

OTA2 have been working with Openreach on the development of three new tasks.

  • How to achieve 100% provision on the day
  • How to move from reactive to proactive fault repair and avoidance
  • Broadband Faults – understanding customer solutions based on ‘big data’ exchange.

The OTA2 have started to pull a dashboard together on the three tasks. The plan is to present a first draft in early December for review with the key CP’s.

Ethernet Services

Service delivery to CDD (Contractual Delivery Date) has remained static at 95%+. The MttP (Mean Time to Provide) picture is quite complex, the short duration Quick Win and Category 1 orders seem to be going faster (c25 days), whilst the Category 2 orders seem to be getting slower (c85 days) and the Category 3 orders are significantly slower (c185+ days).

The Openreach ‘special offer’ on removal of cancellation fees for orders in the ‘aged order tail’ has been launched and has received mixed reviews from the CP community. The inclusion of the ECC costs is causing some CPs a challenge as to how they would pass any charges on to customers who have ceased to have any interest due to the non-delivery of the service. That said there have been a reasonable volume of circuits requested to be processed to the stage where actual costs are understood, it remains to be seen how many will then go onto being ceased.

Ethernet on EMP continues to drive a considerable amount of discussion and activity. It has become increasingly apparent that the complex discussion surrounding SLA/SLG and the concepts for DOJ and CID and the consideration of BCMR impacts need to be factored into the plans for EMP going forward. In short order we need to get to a new product description which can accommodate a new SLA/SLG regime and a suitable supporting contract.

The plans to move to a more focused industry fora structure with a senior level steering group as beginning to take shape with the first meeting set for 30 November 2015.

Number Port - Process Improvement Programme

Performance Dashboard – At the instigation of OTA2, the Industry Group have now launched a new performance dashboard which will enable the group to monitor their collective order handling and port activation performance. This will help the group to identify areas of weakness and to prioritise initiatives for improvement.

The performance data received so far (last 4 months) suggests the most pressing problem impacting  CPs (and their End Users) is a very high order ‘rejection’ rate which, in turn, is driving significant re-work and protracted order-handling times. This issue will be a major focus of attention/improvement in the coming weeks.

This dashboard remains critically dependent on the regular supply of CP performance data.

Consumer Switching

The forum is aimed at providing the opportunity for all Stakeholders (including Ofcom) to share any concerns they have regarding Consumer Switching and to initiate any improvement activities which may be needed.

Service Levels

Copper Provision: Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, is stable averaging 8.3 working days during the week commencing 16 November 2015 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair: Copper repair performance (LLU & WLR) now appears to be back on an improving trend with ‘on time repair’ averaging 70-75% during October.

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
  • Consumer Switching Industry Improvement Programme
  • Urgent Service Restoration Process
  • Fixed Line Number Porting - Improvements
  • Service Levels (LLU/WLR/Ethernet)
  • Infrastructure Service improvement programme


Rod Smith