Telecommunications Adjudicator update for January 2021

An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in January 2021.

See the latest charts

At the end of January 2021, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.22 million. There are 4.21 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 2.09 million.*

Covid-19 Impact

We anticipate that all industry fora that we host will remain online, until such time that all participants return to travelling normally across the UK. As we now find ourselves in the latest lockdown it is clear that any form of face to face meetings are unlikely to occur in the next few months. Hopefully with the benefit of the new vaccines a return to some face to face meetings are at least within sight.  Until then we will maintain our online approach.

Please all keep safe and well.

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


The outlook for EAD orders remains positive with service levels holding up. Focus remains on workstack control and order fluidity by controlling delays and suspensions.

Optical Services following the same trend as we have seen in recent months and settling to more normal levels.

The Cable Link product improvement plan is still in progress and we await feedback on progress. Work on the reshaping of the product is ongoing.

Passive Infrastructure Access

The PIA Product continues to evolve, as we see the demand for the product and the number of active CPs grow. There are now well in excess of 100 registered CPs.

The Executive Steering Group has met to further discuss how scale operation & build can be enabled. CPs have been polled for feedback to better shape the way forwards. This group will meet more frequently than anticipated in this formative stage. The output of any proposals will be shared with the wider PIA community via the PIAPCG.

The product itself remains a very active area of both interest from CPs and in terms of systems and product development.

The programme of works for the PIA product continues to develop – active workstreams currently running to improve the product and its usability for CPs are:

  • Missing Inventory
  • Build Complete
  • Duct Overlay
  • Forecasting
  • SLAs/SLGs
  • Connecting Customers

Copper and Fibre

Openreach and industry have expressed a willingness to engage on proactive testing, with OTA2 acting as an intermediary, with a view to seeking some form of compromise; should this be possible. Negotiations have made good progress and following industry comments an updated draft of the MOU is currently under review within Openreach.

Negotiations on the Auto Comp rates beyond 2020/21 have commenced but continue to make limited progress.

In April, CPs initiated a formal OTA2 negotiation, under the process established by the 2014 Fixed Access Market Review (FAMR), regarding the 28-day Repeat Fault SLG.  This SLG was previously negotiated under the above process in 2016 and implemented in early 2017. Unfortunately, agreement could not be reached between Openreach and industry and the matter remains with Ofcom following referral.

Openreach and industry have agreed to undertake a review of the policies and commercial construct that surround FTTP and to ensure the contract fully reflect these. This is required as there has developed a mismatch between the original contract and the current product as defined within the Product Description.

All-IP Steering Group

The All-IP steering group met this month to review progress on communications strategy, split CP contracts and the imminent start of the Salisbury “stop sell trial”. The forum is working well providing a good interaction on issues and concerns.  The forum is currently focused on developing appropriate reporting measures and has commenced a more detailed review of the issues affecting businesses moving to All-IP

Dark Fibre

Openreach informed industry that it has identified issues with the quality of testing of some DFX orders. A service improvement plan has been in place for several months and has been formally closed this month, with industry acknowledging the significant improvement the SIP has delivered.

Openreach has commenced a trial of the use of pre-2000 fibre on routes less than 40km. This was due to close at the end of January, but industry has requested a short extension, which has been agreed by Openreach.

Openreach have proposed an update to SIN 525, which defines the technical specification for the service. Industry has responded with its comments on the proposal, and these are being evaluated by Openreach.

Consumer Switching & Number Porting

EECC Fixed Line Switching and Porting Working Group (ECWG)

The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) will update and replace the existing EU regulatory framework for electronic communications within the UK.

The Code contains new provisions relating to consumer switching and porting and includes a specific requirement for Industry to establish a single, gaining provider-led process for switching domestic customers within and across different fixed networks (i.e. cross-platform switching).

Ofcom plan to complete their assessment, before publishing a final consultation (now expected end-January 2021) which will indicate their decision regarding the 2 industry proposals previously submitted

Ofcom have also declared that industry will be required to implement the new switching & porting process within the 24-month period ending December 2022.

Right to Port (R2P)

A separate ECWG workstream is underway to address an additional EECC requirement to deliver the changes needed to afford an End User the new ‘right to port’ their number to a new provider for a period of up to 31 calendar days following service termination with their previous provider.

OTA2 have developed a detailed requirements specification which has been distributed to each of the major CPs who will be developing their existing automation to fulfil the ‘right to port’ requirement.

OTA2 and industry are developing plans to implement the R2P enhancement by December 2022, or sooner, as it will eliminate a significant industry cost of failure whilst providing a much better End Customer experience.

Porting for Business – New Reforms

A number of improvements have now been launched , which were designed to improve the order handling process for business customers where complex reseller supply chains are typically involved.

Further improvements are underway as follows: -

  1. Restructuring the existing porting process documentation to make it more user friendly.
  2. Simplify the existing port order transaction template to facilitate increased automation
  3. Establish a new ‘Bulk Transfer’ process to facilitate wholesaler ports.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 7, 35, 16, 7, 4  working days for Copper, FTTC (MI), SOGEA (MI), FTTC (SI) and SOGEA (SI) installations respectively, over the 4-day period ending 24 January 2021 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

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

(Note: FTTC is Fibre to the cabinet, SOGEA is Single Order Generic Ethernet Access)

Copper Repair

LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance has been tracking a relatively flat trend, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 85 % and 80 % respectively, by week ending 15 January 2021.

*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections