OTA2 Update for December 2017

At the end of December 2017, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.87 million. There are 4.44 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.82 million.

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

SLA/SLGs

Ethernet
EAD Despite agreeing to the structure on an SLG for delivery of EAD SLG circuits, there was a significant gulf between Industry and Openreach regarding the scale of the appropriate quantum. As a result, both sides agreed to terminate discussions at the end of December 2017. OTA2 will provide a closure report to Ofcom during January.

Copper/Fibre
Following Ofcom’s publication of its final statement on Automatic Compensation, OTA2 has received a request from a number of CPs to initiate formal negotiations with Openreach regarding a number of aspects that CPs consider are affected by their new obligations. Openreach has sought clarification on some aspects of the CP requests but formal negotiations are expected to commence mid-January 2017.

Service Management Forum (SMF)

The December review focussed heavily on the proposed change programmes that Openreach wanted to engage with industry on. This was well received with the inevitable questions around CP readiness and engagement. It is anticipated that Openreach will share more details on the individual projects in the following sessions.

Some concern was also raised on the speediness of Openreach reacting to actions raised through the SMF. In particular the issue around FTTC card exhaustion due to faulty units and their subsequent replacement. It was accepted that this had been a slow response. Openreach have subsequently raised this with the new ‘tiger team’ approach.

Openreach KPI Assurance

A joint OTA2/EAO (Equivalence of Access Office) team have completed an audit of one of the more important KPIs which Openreach currently share with CPs as a basis for driving actions for improvement: FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), Self-Install, ELFs (Early Life Failures).

A draft final audit report has been produced and is currently under review with the Openreach team concerned. The final report will include specific recommendations for improvement which will further enhance the accuracy of this very important KPI.

CFPCG (Copper & Fibre Products Commercial Group)

Openreach had started deployment of the new FTTP 1+1 ONT. Sufficient stock of 4+2 ONT are being retained to maintain provision of multiple data ports or for addressing existing 4+2 faults.

Following feedback from CPs, Openreach has reviewed the quality of addresses presented via the address matching dialogue service and will aim to correct and align the address details to match the standards provided by Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey. This will include the UPRN from Ordnance Survey. A dedicated data integrity team will start a twelve-month programme on Monday 15 January 2018 to review all address data. This is in addition to existing addressing BAU work. This timescale is, in part, dictated by the limitations of the 999 database and its ability to accept changes.

Openreach announced that insufficient progress had been made on testing all SOGFast scenarios. In view of this, Openreach are introducing a new phase – CP3 and extending the pilot phase to give CPs additional time to provide the scenarios needed.

The revised dates are as follows:

  • CP2 trial will still complete at end of December 2017
  • CP3 trial (new phase) will run from January 2018 until 30 May 2018
  • Pilot will run from 31 May 2018 until 30 September 2018
  • Early Market Deployment from 1 October 2018

Ethernet Service

The Point of No Amend (PONA) work has commenced with CPs, a pre review with a small number of CPs to provide detailed input for the first open IWG working group. The subject is very significant and there will need to be several future sessions to detail the full scope. The output of the exercise will mean a new set of business rules and potentially the need to review and revise contract text.

EMP IWG
Trial of VMJ and KCIM is well underway, as expected there are some areas where points of issue have been found. The feedback has fallen into two distinct perspectives, the systems analysts view is as expected that the system is not yet fully formed and there are challenges with operational staff needing to remember to complete tasks to ensure CPs are kept informed. The other perspective is from the Operators of the system who are seeing benefit over ECO-x operation and are keen to develop the system to increase the benefit.

Passives Industry Working Group

Work to review the ordering complexities surrounding customer connections which need to be ordered as singleton connections and attract the same order handling fee. There is need to understand the whole issue and impact on both Openreach and CPs.

Number Porting

The Number Port Executive Steering Group is now well established with healthy support being provided by a good cross-section of Industry Representatives.

Industry response to Ofcom
The group are currently developing a proposal for submission to Ofcom which will represent Industry's shared view of how the UK Number Porting operating model needs to transform in order to meet future needs whilst also addressing current inadequacies.

This proposal will include specific 'asks' of Ofcom which are aimed at securing official Ofcom endorsement of Industry's efforts to deliver improvements in the fixed line number porting arena.

This proposal is in direct response to Ofcom's related invitation to Industry (contained in their recent DCR statement), to submit such a proposal.

Consumer Switching Industry Forum (CSIF)

New Consumer Switching Best Practice Guide
This guide has now been published (via the OTA2 website) and provides comprehensive & up-to-date guidance in all matters relating to Consumer Switching.

The guide brings together a vast array of important information, which, hitherto, could only be obtained by searching various websites (e.g. Ofcom, Openreach, OTA2).

The guide is being updated in line with new requirements arising from Ofcom's Statement in respect of their recently completed 'Review of General Conditions'.

Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR)
The group have developed a new 'Best Practice Guide' which will outline the steps CPs should take in the event that one of their 'supply chain' partners withdraws from the market unexpectedly (e.g. Business failure due to insolvency). The final draft is currently under review and should be published by end of January 2018. The primary objective in such circumstances is to reduce any End User disruption to an absolute minimum.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision
Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 7.9 and 7.7 working days for Copper and Fibre installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 31 December 2017 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair
LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance appears to be tracking a relatively flat trend over the last 3 months, achieving 82% and 77% respectively, for week ending 24 November 2017.

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • 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
  • Best Practice Guides for Industry

 

Rod Smith