At the end of May 2016, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.80 million. There are 4.61 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.93million.
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 will now be managed through to implementation under the auspices of the Copper & Fibre Product & Commercial Group (CFPCG). On four of the proposals, no agreement was reached. None of these are being referred to Ofcom by OTA2.
OTA2 remains hopeful that progress can be made on the remaining request relating to Repeat Faults within 28 days, however, as agreement was not reached within the 6-month window a short extension (to the end June) has been agreed between all parties.
Voluntary discussions on a revised set of SLA/SLG to support the proposed BCMR commenced in July 2015. The most significant change sought by CPs is the abolition of Openreach Deemed Consent. Although some progress was made, both parties remained a significant distance apart. Discussions were in stasis awaiting a level of agreement and consensus between Openreach and Industry regarding the underlying order processes against which any SLA/SLG will apply. CPs have decided to review their existing proposals and to formally resubmit under the framework for negotiations provided by the BCMR, however the timing and scope of these have yet to be agreed as some external factors, such as the Ofcom “Own Initiative” review on Deemed Consent may have a material impact on the start point for negotiations.
Service Management Forum (SMF)
As planned, a final MBORC (Matters Beyond our Reasonable Control) review was held. Overall, all agreed that the detailed service pack process had been a success and was a big step forward. A few actions were taken to explore some improvements and a follow up would be held whereupon the focus group approach would be closed.
New NTE5 (Home telephone socket)
Openreach are planning to start using the NTE5C and VDSL Mark 4 filter from June 2016 and have advised that there will be a national launch using 3000 engineers working on installation and repair activities. Openreach will continue to deploy the NTE5A and VDSL Mark 3 filter as it manages the run down and build-up of old and new stock versions. Openreach anticipate that NTE5C will be fully deployed by end of September 2016 when stocks of the existing NTE5A are exhausted.
G.fast Trial and Pilot
Openreach provided an update on the G.fast trial which is due to end 30 September 2016. Openreach’s intention is to pilot G.fast from Q4 2016/17 onwards in Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire and Gillingham, Kent.
Exchange Closure Notification Process
Openreach clarified the exchange notification process and agreed that when future updates are published, that notification will be given to the following CFPCG. CPs confirmed that this was an acceptable approach.
Fibre To The Premise (FTTP)
Openreach provided an update on the FTTP trials that are underway which are aimed at making the final customer order journey as swift as possible. To allow CPs to understand whether an order will be a 1 or 2 step process Openreach are planning some pre-order changes around September 2016. To facilitate this additional survey network notes on eMLC/Dialogue Services will be introduced to help CPs identify the address status and where the FTTP network has been proactively built.
Ethernet delivery remains challenging, despite the significant effort to make improvements the lead times have remained significantly greater than either Openreach or CPs would like. Openreach are engaging in a major focused programme to clear the ‘toxic tail’ of circuits which will have an impact on the reported MttP but is vital to get the product to a stable state.
Passives Industry Working Group
Discusions are underway to scope a series of trial installations with CPs interested in testing the proposed improvements in process and operation. CPs will be able to survey and build at the same time and perform their own remedial works to enable the construction. The trial will also enable the accomodation of multiway joints in the Openreach jointing chambers.
Dark Fibre working group meetings have commenced with good attendance from the interested CPs. The contracts sub group has also commenced. The meetings to date have been very constructive with a small number of issues being surfaced around how CPs hand over key diagnostic and location data during fault conditions.
The Consumer Switching Industry Forum continues to target improvements across a number of 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). Ofcom have tasked the forum with reviewing the existing ‘supplier of last resort’ process to ensure it is ‘fit for today’s purpose’.
RID (Reseller ID) Process
New Best Practice Guide under development. This is an important piece of data, which is incorporated into the Migration Ordering Process, such that the identities of both Gaining & Losing Parties are registered against each transaction. This data can then be used to assist in resolving any issues which may surface during or subsequent to each transaction (e.g. slamming complaints).
Consumer Switching Gaining Provider-Led NoT Process
On-going attention to the effectiveness of this process in delivering a seamless switching experience for Consumers e.g. minimal service downtime, CP supply chain complexities.
CP Performance Dashboard
CP/OTA2 bilateral discussions are underway to agree actions for improvement.
Business Order Handling
Very poor order rejection rate (i.e. 50%). Targeting specific improvements across the CP Business Market community
Growing incidence of CPs preventing their End Users from porting their number away to a new CP. This is due to a recognised weakness in the porting process, which is being addressed by the Industry stakeholder group.
Emergency Restoration Process
Existing process is undergoing a complete overhaul.
Openreach Service Delivery Performance
A good performance is being consistently maintained. CP Point of Presence (PoP) consolidation is becoming the dominant activity
In-life PoP-Site Reliability
Is significantly improved due to obsolete UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) changeout programme having been completed, as well as improved engagement between Openreach’s Access Ops Centre and CPs
Access Locate Contract
A joint Openreach/CP Review of ‘permitted use’ definition is in progress
Copper & Fibre Provision
Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 6 -7 working days for Copper & NGA Fibre, during the week ending 20 April 2016 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).
LLU & WLR ‘on time repair’ performance continue to track an improving trend, achieving 76%, for week ending 11 March 2016
OTA2 will continue to focus on: