OTA2 Update for March 2018

At the end of March 2018, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.88 million. There are 4.45 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.84 million.

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

SLA / SLG

Ethernet

Negotiations on revised Ethernet SLGs were terminated at the end of December 2017 as agreement could not be reached. OTA2 provided a closure report to Ofcom during January 2018. Ofcom have now responded to the OTA2.

Copper/Fibre 

Following Ofcom’s publication of its final statement on Automatic Compensation, OTA2 received a request from several CPs to initiate formal negotiations with Openreach regarding a number of aspects that CPs consider are affected by their new compensation obligations. Openreach tabled its commercial response to the industry asks on 21 March 2018, which is under review by CPs. The technical enhancements for supporting KCI messages, required to assist compliance, are largely agreed and the development remains on track.

Ethernet Service

Service performance for Ethernet remains in a strong position with deliveries consistently above 1k per week. The only area of concern is performance of the order validation stage which has been under stress for the past few months.

Openreach have initiated the reshaping of the Job Control functions with a 2-phase splitting of the function into a national based contact centre for CP queries and the job chasing function from the Job Control moving into the regions, where they are closer to the work functions engaged in service delivery.

Progress on getting EMP ready for full adoption continues at a steady pace. Around 30% of new orders are being placed on the EMP platform, trials of the View My Job and KCI Manager components are going well with good CP engagement.

OTA2 have begun discussions with Openreach on the future shape of Ethernet delivery in a more integrated single fibre network world. The thoughts are at a very early stage but we are encouraged that the thinking and perspective is taking account of the complexity of the Ethernet product delivery and looking at ways to mitigate and remove complexity where possible.

Passive Infrastructure Access

Duct and Pole Access is a key theme of the Wholesale Line Access Consultation which has now been published in draft. The March Passives IWG was very well attended with significant CP interest in the next stages of the process after the draft statement becomes firm. Openreach set out the plan for engagement with CPs which will follow the blueprint used in the Dark Fibre reference offer work undertaken under the BCMR. The IWG will become the main meeting for the development of the new reference offer with ancillary sessions to cover off any technical / legal / process requirements as needed.

New Openreach Customer Requirements Process

For both commercial groups Openreach have launched an enhanced approach to the management of SOR’s including the introduction of a Programme Office. This builds upon the work developed through the commercial groups and should lead to further improvements in the future. OTA2 are working with Openreach to agree the transition approach and adoption of new practices. In particular areas such as trials and Proof of Concepts should come under better control.

FTTP and Copper Based Services Intra Migrations 

During the last CFPCG, OTA2 agreed to review with Ofcom the expected approach to migrations between FTTP and Copper based services. OTA2 will feedback the outcome at the planned industry workshop on this subject.

Number Porting

Industry response to Ofcom

The group have recently submitted a proposal to Ofcom which represents Industry's shared view of how the UK Number Porting operating model needs to transform in order to meet future requirements whilst also addressing current inadequacies.

This proposal includes 2 specific 'asks' of Ofcom (i.e. Tactical & Strategic) which are aimed at securing official Ofcom endorsement of Industry's efforts to deliver improvements in both the short and medium terms.

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

Consumer Switching Industry Forum (CSIF) 

Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR)

The group have now published a new 'Best Practice Guide' which outlines 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).

Consumer Switching Best Practice Guide

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

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision 

Openreach FAD (First Available Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 7 and 6.5 working days for Copper and Fibre installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 27 March 2018 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

Copper Repair 

LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance appears to be tracking a positive trend, achieving 4 week rolling average of 83% and 78% respectively, by week ending 23 February 2018.

Rod Smith