OTA2 Update for August 2018

At the end of August 2018, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.98 million. There are 4.27 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.69 million.

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

SLA / SLG

Following Ofcom’s publication of its final statement on Automatic Compensation, OTA2 received a request from several CPs to initiate formal SLG negotiations with Openreach regarding their additional end-customer compensation obligations.

Negotiations have now exceeded the 6-month period of OTA2 facilitation. All parties agreed to continue negotiations under the auspices of OTA2 until at least the end of September; the concern being that any change to the technical requirements may be impractical to support after this date.

The technical enhancements for supporting KCI messages, required to assist compliance, remains on track.

WLR Consultation on Withdrawal of WLR

Following the launch of the WLR3 withdrawal consultation, Openreach ran a number of regional events which OTA2 attended in support of the engagement process which received circa 30 responses from a wide spectrum of organisations.

Openreach expect to publish a summary of the feedback in September and intend to host an all CP call to feedback on this. The OTA2 are in discussion with Openreach on the best approach to industry engagement using existing industry groups and additional engagements that will reach out to the wider stakeholder community. Openreach anticipate starting the working groups early October.

Ethernet Service

Service delivery performance remains strong over all, however there has been some slippage in the delivery of the order acceptance and planning complete KCIs (KCI1&3 on Eco-x and KCI1.1&2 on EMP) against the SLA. We have asked Openreach to review the underlying causes and come back to the Ethernet Service forum in August with the issues and a plan for recovery.

Openreach have started CP engagement on shaping the end to end service delivery of the EAD product and looking for ways to improve the experience for all stakeholders. The process will hopefully enable the all the parties to get a more reliable and clean set of processes to support the very complex world of Ethernet delivery.

Passive Infrastructure Access

The Draft Reference Offer text was published on the 1 August 2018. A new phase has now been entered , to review and update the outstanding issues in advance of the final publication in early 2019. The OTA will now record all issues, actions and agreements with a view to focussing on the essential elements for successful relaunch. Ofcom have also proposed an interim refence offer update which is in line with the working group plans.

Number Porting

Strategic change

The NPESG (Number Port Executive Steering Group) had previously submitted a proposal to Ofcom which represented Industry's shared view of how the UK Number Porting operating model needs to transform to meet future requirements whilst also addressing current weaknesses. The NPESG submission comprised of 2 specific 'asks' (Tactical & Strategic) and Ofcom's initial response was shared at the NPESG, 19 July 2018.

Tactical ‘Ask’ - Governance

Ofcom are actively exploring various ways in which the level of CP compliance with General Condition 18 can be improved and are aiming to share their thoughts at the next NPESG, 20 September 18.

Strategic ‘Ask’ - Transformation

The clear message from Ofcom to NPESG was to target a strategic solution which, if possible, will address a wider scope of requirements as follows:

  • Porting transformation (fixed and mobile, Geo and non-Geo)
  • Improved number management/administration (Ofcom function)
  • CLI Authentication (to counter nuisance/spoof calls)

Blockchain Proof of Concept (PoC)

NPESG are sponsoring a blockchain based PoC which BT have initiated along with a small number of other participating CPs. The PoC scope is being tailored to take account of the above requirements.

Consumer Switching Industry Forum (CSIF)

Consumer Switching Best Practice Guide

The CSIF group continue to develop this guide to take account of Ofcom’s recent review of their General Conditions and separately, to incorporate new consumer switching guidance where migrations to and from NGA products are involved (i.e. SOGEA, SOGFAST, FTTP).

Special Service Restoration

A new Code of Practice for restoring End User’s Special Services has been produced to offer guidance to CPs to cater for those exceptional circumstances where an End User’s ‘special service’ (e.g. remote patient surveillance) has ceased to function following migration from their copper-based phone service to a new digital VOIP-based phone service. This document will be published on the OTA2 web-site during September 2018.

All IP Migration Programme

OTA2 have been asked by Ofcom to establish a new industry programme aimed at pre-validating the migration processes which Gaining CPs will be using to support the anticipated high volume take up of new VOIP-based ‘digital phone’ services.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 8 working days for Copper and Fibre installations, over the 5-day period ending 27th August 2018 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair

LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance appears to be tracking an improving trend, achieving 4 week rolling average of 85% and 80% respectively, by week ending 17th August 2018.

Rod Smith