OTA2 Update for September 2015


At the end of September 2015 the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.81 million. There are 5.50 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.97 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 Commercial Group (ECG).
  • Infrastructure Service Forum (ISF, ex-Plan & Build Forum)

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

Work on implementing the agreed changes associated with the initial tranches of SLA/SLG amendments is now largely complete. A further tranche of proposals is anticipated from both Openreach and CPs during FY Q3.

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 alignment of Deemed Consent to the proposed application within the BCMR. 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, is unlikely to be met.

Service Management Forum (SMF)

The September SMF focussed on recent Openreach performance issues and held a Post Incident Review (PIR) on the failures at the Derby Computer Centre which lost a key server for a few hours. This caused issues around work scheduling and completion messages. In addition problems had been identified with frames scheduling, impact of electric storms and an increase in general demand.  This was exacerbated by the normal levels of leave around this time. The main impact had been felt on the ability to complete managed repairs on time as well as increases of CCD against CRD for frames based provisions.

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 are now in dialogue on how best to develop the ideas documented by Openreach with a view to wider Industry engagement.

Ethernet Services

Service delivery to CDD (Contractual Delivery Date) has been maintained 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 seem to be getting slower (c85 days) and the Category 3 orders are significantly slower (c185+ days). There is also a growing issue with the tail of old orders sat in the pipeline (>185+ days). Openreach have recognised the challenge of the ageing tail and are making attempts to tackle the backlog but this will take some time and affect the MttP stats as the old orders are flushed.

Work sent out for construction activities and Rod & Tube remain a major concern for CPs with Openreach applying Deemed Consent in instances where they are short of resources, which CPs strongly feel is not a legitimate reason to ‘stop the clock’.

The DOJ (Differentiated Order Journey) trial in the North West is continuing to deliver orders against the DOJ structured process although it is anticipated that the trial area will close for new orders shortly. Openreach have signalled to the CPs that they are unable to broaden the trial area or indeed roll out the DOJ learnings using the existing ECOx system stack as they will not be able to force compliance with their own operatives. The ECOx system lacks the ability to drive tasks forwards and is reliant on control staff remembering to fulfil certain tasks at the right time. Full DOJ working can only be implemented as part of the move to EMP.

Openreach have started to discuss with the CPs those elements which they believe could be extracted and used in the BAU process to provide a partial improvement, this has been termed DOJ lite, it remains to be seen if the CPs will find any of the proposals acceptable given that they would need to make two sets of changes to their processes in what could be a relatively short period of time. The CID (Customer Interactive Design) workshops have now concluded in mapping out the detailed underlying process and messaging between Openreach and the CPs. The challenge now is mapping the findings onto the EMP platform capabilities and understanding what development is required to fulfil the needs.

Ethernet on EMP has come more into focus with the findings from the DOJ trial and the CID workshops highlighting the need to have a more capable support system. We (OTA2) have begun to have dialogue with Openreach to see how we can develop a consumption plan for CPs. There are a number of elements to any such plan; it needs to cover Product, Operations and the CIO. It also needs to take account of the learnings from both DOJ and CID, but perhaps most importantly it needs very clear senior level ownership to take responsibility for the delivery, implementation and scaling of all aspects and to set direction at the points in the programme which competing demands need to be met.

Number Port - Process Improvement Programme

Performance Dashboard – At the instigation of OTA2, the Industry Group (NPP&CG – Number Port Process & Commercial 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.

This dashboard remains critically dependent on as many CPs as possible to supply their individual performance data to OTA2 on a routine monthly basis. So far, only 3 CPs have ‘signed-up’ to supply their performance data although others have indicated their ‘support in principle’.

Service Levels

Copper Provision: Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, is stable averaging 9 working days during the week ending 26 Sept 2015 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair: Copper repair performance (LLU & WLR) deteriorated slightly during August with ‘on time repair’ averaging 71-72%.

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