OTA2 Update for November 2018

At the end of November 2018, the number of unbundled lines stands at 10.08 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.

Despite negotiations exceeding the 6-month period of OTA2 facilitation all parties agreed to continue discussions. Industry and Openreach have now reached agreement following the inclusion of a 12-month review of Cancelled Provisions.

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

Ethernet Service

Service delivery performance remains strong overall. The issues with planning KPIs and service times being missed has been the focus of lots of activity and remedial action. The problems were caused by three factors hitting at once, a commercial offer closing creating a spike in demand, unprecedented order intake due to two major contracts landing and the failure of a systems component upgrade. It is anticipated that we will see a steady improvement to performance and a full recovery in the new year. To date the impact has been on the front of the delivery process, this will be monitored to pick up any impact to the overall service delivery.

The Reimagining Ethernet Consultation is now closed and Openreach are evaluating the responses from CPs.

Ethernet on EMP is progressing very well with slightly over 70% of the order volume running through the EMP platform. The migration of assets from ECO-x to EMP is going reasonably well and will move into a new phase in January where assets will be force migrated to ensure we hit the ECO-x shut down date.

Passive Infrastructure Access

The DPA reference offer continues to progress, with significant time and resources being applied by all parties. Progress is being made in several areas but is becoming clear that the product will need a period of speedy evolution beyond 1 April 2019 to ensure that it meets the needs of CPs and that Openreach can be assured of good working practices.

The main areas of issue are around:

  1. Network Adjustments, as well as making the process of validation and authorisation fit for purpose,
  2. Notice of Intent (NOI) - sizing and scaling, as well as Network complete notification,
  3. The management of areas within an NOI which are ready to connect customers.

Number Porting

Strategic improvement – Blockchain Proof of Concept (PoC)

The PoC project is ‘sponsored’ by Ofcom with BT Technology playing a lead role in staging the PoC with the active participation of a small number of CPs.

There are two strands of work in train. The first is to test blockchain credentials in a laboratory environment e.g. to stress-test capability and work out how best to approach certain requirements. The second (subject to a decision to proceed with a blockchain solution) would be to establish detailed requirements as a basis to start work on a full prototype.

The Number Port Executive Steering Group (NPESG) will be responsible for determining the PoC ‘requirements’ for number porting.

Improving compliance and tackling complaints

At Ofcom’s request an industry workshop has been scheduled to commence work on establishing a new ‘port override’ process to counter the growing volume of complaints to Ofcom from subscribers and telecoms providers. Once established this process will allow ports to be successfully completed where a subscriber’s legitimate request to port their number is being inappropriately blocked or frustrated.

All IP - Migrations Testing Programme (AIP-MTP)

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 ramp-up in demand from End Users migrating from existing copper-based phone services to new VOIP-based phone services.

Following a series of bilateral ‘scene-setting’ calls, our first multilateral ‘kick-off’ session has now been held with all Phase 1 participants (i.e. BT Consumer, BT Business, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Virgin Media, BT Wholesale, Openreach).

Phase 1 is aimed at validating End User migrations served by the small number of major retailers (i.e. simple supply chains).

Phase 2 will be focussed on tests designed to validate successful migrations involving smaller retailers and extended reseller supply chains.

There was general agreement regarding the proposed test criteria and overall approach to testing.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 6.7, 6.8 and 8.1 working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 26 November 2018 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

(Note: MI and SI are Managed-Install and Self-Install respectively).

Copper Repair

LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance continues to maintain an improving trend, achieving 4 week rolling average of 86% and 82% respectively, by week ending 23 November 2018.

Rod Smith