OTA2 Update for January 2017

At the end of January 2017, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.84 million. There are 4.54 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.86 million

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

Ethernet EAD -SLA/SLG Work Stream

Following a dialogue between Openreach, CPs and OTA2 it was agreed to split the original EAD negotiations into two parts. The first part, to discuss the SLG measures, started on 16 September 2016. There were three elements under discussion; the removal of Openreach deemed consent, whether there are any legitimate circumstances where Openreach can seek CP agreement to a CCD change and the concept of the SLG ensuring a circuit is “usable” i.e. working, fully documented and delivered to the correct location.  Good progress was made on all aspects and OTA2 now considers that there was adequate consensus across all parties to progress to the next stage of negotiations.  The second part of the negotiation cover the quantum. This will run for up to 6 months (i.e. January to June) under the governance of the BCMR.  The initial focus of activity is for all parties to develop a view of the cost of failure.

Service Management Forum (SMF)

Throughout the winter period, Openreach have maintained their service levels despite the increased workstack with the more remote regions coming under the most strain. However, CPs have become concerned about the effectiveness of the ISDN 30/2 and Business2+ help desks. Openreach has been asked to provide improvement plans focussed on the qualitative aspects of this first-line support service.

Openreach have also provided some early views of the restructuring of SMC’s and the way customer queries will be handled. A focussed workshop is planned for the next SMF on how best to implement such changes.

Major IT Incident Communications
Openreach recently hosted an Industry workshop to review the current arrangements in place to ensure CPs are kept well informed throughout the full lifecycle of a major IT incident. The workshop was well attended reflecting the importance attached by all CPs, as they need accurate and timely updates from Openreach in order to effectively manage the likely service impact on their End Users. 

A number of potential improvements were identified & will be taken forward by the group.

Further work is needed to improve communication in non-IT related outages, for example where construction work damages major cables or a large network failure occurs.

Openreach KPI Assurance

A combined OTA2/EAO (Equivalence of Access Office) team are currently assessing one of the most 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). This review is still in progress and is targeted for completion by mid-February 2017.

CFPCG (Copper & Fibre Products Commercial Group)

The project converting product and process documentation into ancillary documents that have contractual recognition has in the main been completed. A few key documents such as Customer Service Plan (CSP) and MBORC policy are still to be completed. The combined effort of Openreach, CPs and OTA2 has significantly improved the full suite of core product documentation.

The group continues to focus on key developments such as SOGEA, SOGFast, GFast and FTTP. In particular feedback has been given to industry on the investigation into test capability for SOGEA were the exchange copper line was to be removed leaving just the copper distribution link (d-side). No conclusion has yet been reached other than the recognition that upgrading Primary Connection Points (PCP) with copper test capability would be very expensive and alternative approaches would need diagnostics and engineer hand held test capability which is not yet fully developed. The work is ongoing and will report back further in the future. The associated SOR raised by Sky has no definitive way forward so Openreach has proposed rejection, which will be discussed at the February CFPCG.

Ethernet Service

Ethernet service challenges remain an abiding challenge, Openreach continue to apply major focus to the problems and some of the indicators such as workstack and aged order profiles are trending in the right direction. Lead times are difficult to judge as the effect of extremely old orders are masking the ‘real’ lead time of newer orders. CPs are still experiencing challenges in managing their customers with quality data and dates as the customer supporting information flow from Openreach is not operating optimally. We are challenging Openreach to deliver better performance in the key KCI points, especially at the KCI3 mid point as this is the contracting point for CPs and Openreach.

The industry engagement looking forward to using the EMP platform has been bolstered with the launch of a new supporting group, Ethernet on EMP Industry Working Group, launched Monday 30 January 2017. The group works under the direction of the ETSG (Ethernet Transformation Steering Group) and will seek to provide the working level point of interaction for EMP related service, system and performance challenges.

Passives Industry Working Group

Map Systems Access for CPs
Phase one of the deployment to launch end of Jan (earlier than expected). Phase 2 to follow in March timeframes.

Proof of Concept Trial
POC T&Cs have now been updated into the contract and the CPs capability to self-serve activities such as enabling works is now part of the standard product.

CPs are experiencing some challenges in getting suitably qualified accredited staff to be able to undertake the works in the network. Industry dialogue is needed to find a way to ensure that any CP or even Openreach can draw on a suitably qualified pool of labour.

Number Porting

The new Number Port ‘Executive Steering Group’ has now been established after industry agreement was reached that the current operating model is not fit for purpose.

There have been two previous attempts to transform the model which did not deliver the required changes. They were UK Porting (Ofcom-led) and NP4UK (Gamma/CP-led).

The questions raised to take this forward encompass:

  • Customer needs/expectations
  • Building block technology / using the same building blocks or is there an alternative approach?
  • Can Industry really make this happen?

The next meeting is set for 20 February 2017 to consider declaration of CP executive support for a new industry-led initiative and CP view of which building blocks are needed, taking account of any related transformation plans already underway or planned (e.g. TDM retirement, Fixed/mobile convergence) and current capabilities.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision
Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 6-8 working days for Copper and NGA Fibre, during the week ending 30 January 2017 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair
LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance has been tracking a relatively flat trend, achieving 81% and 75% respectively, for week ending 23 December 2016.

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