OTA2 Update for April 2017

At the end of April 2017, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.84 million. There are 4.50 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.83 million

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

Ethernet EAD -SLA/SLG Work Stream

The second stage of the SLG quantum negotiations covering the quantum has been underway since January. The initial focus of activity has been for all parties to develop a view of the cost of failure. This work is ongoing but is taking longer than anticipated to complete. Industry/Openreach discussions will not recommence until mid-May. 

It is unlikely that the negotiations will be completed within the six-month timeframe. All parties will need to agree to an extension, provided reaching a conclusion appears to have a reasonable chance of success.

Service Management Forum (SMF)

A review of CPs top concerns concluded that the work around major system failure processes had progressed well and was now considered under control. A new concern was raised around Early Life Failure of self-install FTTC with associated SIM2 practices. To fully develop an understanding of the concerns it was agreed to use the next SMF morning session to run a dedicated workshop. All parties are now in the process of pulling together examples and metrics to support the workshop.

Early thoughts on 2017/18 service performance targets were presented by Openreach. CPs look forward to the May SMF to understand the likely targets and proposal on how these can be met.

Openreach KPI Assurance

A combined OTA2/EAO (Equivalence of Access Office) team has recently completed an assessment on one of the more important Ethernet KPIs used by Openreach as part of their performance reporting to Industry; Ethernet Provision Appointment Furthers (i.e. Openreach unable to complete appointed task reporting to Industry).  A final report (including recommendations) is being prepared for review at the next OTA2 Executive meeting in May.

CFPCG (Copper & Fibre Products Commercial Group)

At the April CFPCG it was agreed that two workshops (requirements capture) should be set up. The first is to identify the requirements, in advance of publication of the Broadband Speeds Code of Practice that is being revised by Ofcom to fall in line with the TSM (Telecom Single Market regulation) requirements. Given the anticipated tight timescales it was agreed to outline the likely requirements on Openreach through a workshop that the OTA2 will pull together as a proposed SOR. The second is to ascertain CP requirements that are over and above the Sky draft SOR for the proposed consumer auto compensation proposals from Ofcom. Both these have been set up the OTA2 to run in May 2017.

Openreach also proposed to CPs a Proof of Concept to test the concept of spectrum re-farming between VDSL and GFast under certain conditions. The dates of the trial were considered to be too aggressive and were challenged by CPs. Discussions around likely benefits and trade-offs would take place once the theory had been demonstrated. 

Ethernet Service

The service delivery improvements have held good for the past few months and especially as Openreach exited the financial year, delivery stayed at above the 1100 completions level, workstack and aged tails are all down, showing an improved level of control. Openreach are flagging that CP suspends are causing them some fluidity challenges. We will work with both Openreach and CPs to determine what are the causes and how it might be addressed.

EMP remains an area of significant focus, as we apporoach the delivery of some of the key components identified by CPs as being needed to delivery the systems functionality required for the Ethernet products. The EMP for Ethernet IWG is now estabilshed and available for CPs to engage as they look to develop systems and process to support their operations in the EMP world.

Passives Industry Working Group

Map Systems Access for CPs
Further enhancements to the Map system have been shared with industry. Scoping for greater automation has started and industry have requested that Openreach share their plans at an early stage to help shape future direction.

OFCOM have released the WLA Consultation including the sections relating to remedies for Duct & Pole Access.

Number Porting

At the most recent Number Port ‘Executive Steering Group’ meeting, it became evident that the Stakeholders were very keen to progress a range of improvements to address both short and longer term needs.

To that end a comprehensive programme of tactical improvements has been tabled and will be finalised at the next meeting.

Once this tactical plan has been finalised, the Steering Group will seek Ofcom’s formal support, as this will help to secure the wider industry support and commitment necessary to deliver the short-term improvements being targeted.

In the meantime, the Steering Group continues to research various strategic options available to deliver a new ‘fit for purpose’ porting model over a 3-5 year timeframe.  

Consumer Switching

The Consumer Switching Industry Forum (CSIF) was originally established (Sept 2015) to maintain a degree of on-going industry oversight on all matters regarding Consumer Switching.

Two important workstreams currently underway are:

Supplier of Last Resort Process

This is the process which Industry would turn to in the event that a CP, for whatever reason, exits the market at short notice, leaving their customer base at real risk of losing their existing services. The existing SOLR process was designed a number of years ago and is being updated to cater for a very different Industry landscape to that which existed even 5 years ago.

Consumer Switching Best Practice Guide

This guide is being developed to provide a single point of reference for all CPs regardless of where they sit in the supply chain (i.e. Wholesalers, Resellers, Retailers). For completeness, the guide will also reference the specific Ofcom GCs (General Conditions) relating to Consumer Switching highlighting the CP compliance obligations therein.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision
Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 5.8 & 7.4 working days for Copper and NGA Fibre installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 23 April 2017 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair
LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance continue to track an improving trend, achieving 85% and 80% respectively, for week ending 17 March 2017.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • 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
  • KPI Assurance



Rod Smith