OTA2 Update for July 2016

At the end of July 2016, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.83 million. There are 4.58 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.90 million.  The publication of the KPI charts will be delayed until next week due to an issue with the graphics.

The following is an update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2.

SLA/SLG Work streams


Following completion of the six-month negotiation window, agreement was reached on six of the proposals submitted. These are being managed through to implementation under the auspices of the Copper & Fibre Product & Commercial Group (CFPCG) and should be notified by Openreach shortly.
OTA2 remains hopeful that a successful conclusion can be reached on the remaining request, relating to Repeat Faults within 28 days. As agreement was not reached within the 6-month window an extension was agreed as all parties agreed that they felt a successful resolution could be reached.  

Ethernet EAD

OTA2 have now received (26/07/16) a request from Openreach to restart the EAD SLG process under the governance of the BCMR. OTA2 have informed Industry and will now establish the required timetable. Ofcom has been informed of this request as the six month window for resolution will now commence.

Service Management Forum (SMF)

Openreach have announced the restructuring of their Customer Service unit, which has now been integrated into their Service Delivery (SD) division bringing together all of the elements of delivery and service management into one place.  Openreach believe that this approach offers single accountability with a view to improving response to customers. They intend to measure and reduce handoffs where possible between the field and office teams. SD are also focussing on performance management for the field teams to support goals and enable engineers to spend more time where needed on a job to reduce repeats and furthers. Further details will be provided by Openreach over the next few meetings.

The months of June and July have produced some challenging weather with heavy rain and lightning. In the middle of June repair volumes peaked at 88,000. Openreach have maintained repair performance and limited ‘missed appointments’ to good levels, which is an improvement over previous weather incidents. To help achieve this some of the ‘new provide’ lead times have moved out but still mainly remain within SLA. Openreach believe repair performance is 5% better year on year with the initiatives that they have put in place.

CFPCG (Copper & Fibre Products Commercial Group)

At this months meeting a lot of time was given to to SOGEA (Single order GEA) and G.Fast.  The full development roadmap was presented and discussed. The detail has already been reviewed with the detailed technical working group. There has also been a number of discussions around the challenges of WLR to VOIP number transfer and porting with MPF. In parallel the mechanisms for service migration using advice of transfer (AOT) and technolgy transfer with same CP have been considered.  The proposals have been reviewed with OTA2 but will also be reviewed with Ofcom to ensure erroneous line transfers are reduced as far as possible.

CPs have previously raised two SOR’s. The first is a request to support SML1 for SOGEA the second a request to consider a SOGEA service without a copper line back to the exchange. Both are in progress and will be updated at the next couple of meetings.

Openreach have informed the group that the G.Fast trials in Huntingdon and Gosforth have been successful with good participation from CPs and good feedback from end users. Openreach are now planning the next stage, which is a large-scale pilot to commence in January 2017.

Ethernet Service

The Openreach decision to move back to a regional structure is beginning to take shape but, as expected, there has been an impact on performance. Kevin Murphy, who has been appointed as the Openreach lead on Ethernet service, and his team are monitoring and trying to get the balance of staff movement, training and annual leave to minimise the impact. There remains a real focus on attacking the ‘toxic tail’ of old circuits and a recognition that this enduring challenge needs to be brought firmly into control in order to hit BCMR minimum service levels (MSLs).

The work to understand the defficiencies of the orignal EMP design has now completed with 50 ‘must have‘ elements identified under this deep dive exercise. Openreach have brought forward plans to fundamentally change the messaging structure (KCI manager) and the means for CPs to keep informed of their jobs progress (View My Job).  There is a full list of requirements which has been circulated via the ETSG and EP&CG forums together with a proposed roadmap from Openreach which the CPs have been asked to review. They are asked to comment on the order of the requirements and judge if it best fits the CP needs to enable them to consume EMP as their ordering system.

Passives Industry Working Group

Early proposals for the CPs to gain systems access to the Openreach line plant records were shared at the July Passives IWG. The feedback from the CPs was very positive with some tactical improvements proposed for quick benefit and some more strategic aspirations shared around using the map based data to support the ordering process.

Dark Fibre

Work to develop the draft Reference Offer is progressing well; there has been excellent engagement at the commercial/contractual/technical and process levels. There are some areas, which are obviously raising some concerns and challenges, but to date the progress has been good.

Consumer Switching

The Consumer Switching Industry Forum continues to target improvements across a number of key areas:-

Supplier of Last Resort Process

This is the process which Industry will need to enact if a particular CP at any point in a given supply chain is unable to maintain service continuity for their Customers (e.g. the CPs business ceases to trade at short notice, for whatever reason). A new high-level process has been developed in collaboration with a good cross-section of the CP Stakeholder community. Discussions are now underway with Stakeholders to agree a timetable for industry-wide adoption.

Consumer Switching Gaining Provider-Led NoT Process

On-going focus on the effectiveness of this process in delivering a seamless switching experience for Consumers (e.g. minimal service downtime) where complex supply chains exist.

The planned introduction of new Openreach products (e.g. Single order GEA, Number transfers,) has generated the additional need to ensure End User migrations to and from such products accommodate the necessary ‘consumer protection’ mechanisms.

Number Porting

CP Performance Dashboard

Ongoing concerns regarding the very poor order-handling performance of CPs involved in serving the business market. The root causes continue to be addressed via a number of tactical improvements.

Number Port ‘Executive Steering Group’

The Stakeholder community are increasingly of the view that the current ‘tactical’ approach to improving the Industry-wide operating model requires a more strategic approach in order to drive the step improvements necessary to properly tackle the weaknesses inherent in today’s operating model.

A new Number Port ‘Executive Steering Group’ is being established in order to secure the strategic support, direction and sponsorship needed to drive the industry-wide transformation that is required. The first meeting is provisionally scheduled for 22 September 2016.

On the ‘tactical’ front, the Stakeholders continue to rollout the new ‘pre-order validation’ process with approximately 50 CPs now registered. This process is proving very effective in driving down the incidence of unnecessary port order rejections which will, in turn, help to reduce the protracted lead-times currently experienced by the Business Market community in particular.

Infrastructure Services

Openreach Service Delivery performance is being maintained at a consistently high level, although CP PoP-site ‘build’ orders have reduced to a very low level compared to previous years.

The reduction in PoP-site ‘build’ orders is, to a great extent, being offset by a welcome increase in PoP-site ‘consolidation’ activity although the large volumes anticipated have yet to really materialise.

Access Locate Contract

A joint OTA2/Openreach/CP Review of the ‘technical’ text contained within the current Access Locate Contract has been successfully completed.

The revised text provides a comprehensive refresh to the 2 sections (in the contract) which previously defined which CP equipment may (or may not) be installed in exchanges (i.e. Permitted CP Equipment) and precisely how that equipment may be used (i.e. Permitted Use).

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 8-9 working days for Copper & NGA Fibre, during the week ending 22 July 2016 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair

LLU & WLR ‘on time repair’ performance continue to track an improving trend, achieving 78% and 80% respectively, for week ending 17 June 2016.

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
  • Dark Fibre/Passives





Rod Smith