OTA2 Update for March 2019

At the end of March 2019, the number of unbundled lines stands at 10.09 million. There are 4.27 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.72 million.*

Ethernet

Service delivery has suffered a dip in performance. The challenges in getting orders through planning is continuing to cause CPs major concerns with the worst performing regions taking up to 28 days to provide KCI2 which is the contract point of the order.

Openreach are working hard to recover the situation utilising overtime, limiting shrinkage and offshoring some of the job pack production activities, additional planning resource is being recruited to further improve throughput. The service challenges will remain in sharp focus at both the Ethernet Service Forum and with on-going update calls from Openreach to CPs.

Openreach have formally announced their intention to proceed with the Reimagining Ethernet Programme (REP). Building on the feedback from the CPs who responded to the consultation, Openreach will produce a scope document to share with CPs in the next month.

The onramp to Ethernet on EMP continues to progress over 95% of the order volume running through the EMP platform. Openreach remain on track for the stop ordering on ECO-x for 31 March 2019, the transfer of assets is on track for 31 July 2019.

Passive Infrastructure Access

The DPA Reference Offer will be published 1 April 2019. As discussed in the previous update, work will continue beyond the implementation date on improving the product offering, recognising that the launch of the reference offer is the start of the new product not the final position. We will continue to work with Openreach and CPs to operationalise the product and ensure it meets the scale aspirations of CPs.

The main areas of further focus are:

  1. Network Adjustments, as well as making the process of validation and authorisation fit for purpose,
  2. Developing the capability to define project areas, grouping multiple NoIs together,
  3.  The management of areas within an NoI (Notice of Intent) which are ready to connect customers,
  4. Reviewing the learnings from the Network Adjustments Proof of Concept (PoC),
  5. Developing a meaningful forecasting mechanism,
  6. Developing a comprehensive set of SLA covering the ancillary services Openreach need to support.

Separately Ofcom are engaging Openreach to develop a set of meaningful KPI’s to ensure no undue discrimination.

SLA/SLG

At the January CFPCG, Openreach informed industry that they wished to review the Missed Appointment charge for WLA products. This will be undertaken under the 6-month OTA2 facilitated process. Openreach presented its rationale and data supporting their case for a reduction in early March. The industry response is with Openreach for consideration.

Automatic Compensation

The technical delivery by Openreach, supporting the April launch of the Automatic Compensation scheme agreed between Industry and Ofcom, continued on track. There was good collaboration on the testing which identified some minor issues that have subsequently been resolved. The contract changes and supporting material were notified in time to support the April launch.

Consumer Switching

All IP - Migrations Testing Programme (AIP-MTP)

At the request of Ofcom, OTA2 have established 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 to switch from their existing copper-based phone services to new VOIP-based services.

Testing has now commenced whereby the Phase 1 participants (i.e. BT Consumer, BT Business, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Virgin Media) are pairing-up into ‘buddy groups’, with each CP in the buddy group performing the role of ‘Gaining’ CP in turn.

Phase 2 will extend the testing programme to encompass more complex supply chains involving other wholesalers and their reseller partners.

Number Porting developments

The ongoing spread of fibre-based broadband services (coupled with the well-publicised retirement of TDM-based phone services) is expected to stimulate consumer demand to switch over to a VOIP-based phone service. As part of this transition, most End Users will likely insist on retaining their telephone numbers and this has prompted a major re-examination of the current number porting processes to ensure they can cope with the anticipated demand.

Blockchain Proof of Concept (PoC) – Potential strategic solution

The project is intended to trial the inherent characteristics of blockchain technology to assess its potential and suitability for each of the following numbering related use cases:

  1. number management (i.e. Ofcom function)
  2. number porting (i.e. industry function)
  3. CLI authentication (i.e. to counter nuisance calls)

The Number Port Executive Steering Group (NPESG) have developed a detailed draft ‘requirements’ statement against which the Blockchain ‘Proof of Concept’ can be evaluated.

Improving compliance and tackling complaints

The Number Port Process & Commercial Group (NPP&CG) are progressing the introduction of a new ‘port override’ process to counter the growing volume of complaints to Ofcom from subscribers and CPs. The current plan is to finalise the process design in March followed by a trial to commence in April 2019.

Once established this process will allow port orders to be expedited where a subscriber’s legitimate request to port their number is being inappropriately blocked or frustrated.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 5.5, 6.5, and 7 working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 20 March 2019 (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 89% and 86% respectively, by week ending 15 March 2019.


* The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections

Rod Smith