Telecommunications Adjudicator update for October 2020

An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in October 2020.

See the latest charts

At the end of October 2020, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.43 million. There are 4.26 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 2.07 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. With the recent announcements from Government, it is unlikely that we will return to normal meetings for another 6 months. There may be some exceptions with small groups on a need basis.

Please all keep safe and well.

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


EAD orders are running at normal levels with completions settling at a reasonable level. Openreach regaining control of the workstack remains a priority focus as working with CPs to reduce the amount of suspends which is beginning to show signs of coming back into the normal range. We are continuing to monitor the day 6/8 and day 14 indicators, but as we stand and with the Covid-19 restrictions being either applied nationally or on a regional basis, this may take time to fully recover.

Demand for Optical services appears to be settling back down to more normal levels. Both the Openreach workstack and levels of suspension, as with EAD, are high still attributable to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Completions are standing up well, running at around 140 per week with a mix of Wavelength and bearers being delivered.

Passive Infrastructure Access

The PIA Product continues to evolve with, as we see the demand for the product and the number of active CPs grow. There are 93 registered CPs and more in establishment and conceivably we will see the 100th registered CP this month.

The product itself remains a very active area of both interest from CPs and in terms of systems and product development. Operational performance on the PIA product has remained good throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Systems development - Openreach have opened their CVF facility for CP developers to use in testing of the APIGEEAPI interfaces and functionality for automation. We now have a steady flow of CPs working through the CVF and LIVE APIGEE gateways looking to test and develop their systems automation capabilities.

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
  • Movement of Dropwires
  • Forecasting
  • SLAs/SLGs
  • Cable Coils

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 started early October.

Industry has also proposed SoR 8619 which relates to automatic compensation payments associated with a repeat fault within 48 hours. This is intended to support potential changes to the current automatic compensation scheme provided to consumers. Negotiations on the Auto Comp rates beyond 2020/21 have also commenced.

Analysis of SoR 8571, which relates to identifying live 999 call activity on a customer line prior to certain intrusive activities being undertaken, indicated a limited benefit, a high cost to develop and a high level of complexity to implement across industry. As a result, industry is accepting of the situation should Openreach take the decision not to proceed with the development.

All-IP Steering Group

Following the overwhelming attendance at major industry sessions, an All-IP steering group has been established to facilitate discussion and debate amongst an invited group to ensure the move towards an All-IP environment can be achieved. The initiate focus of the group has been Best Practice, Stop sell and the impending Salisbury trial.

Dark Fibre

Openreach had informed industry that it has identified issues with the quality of testing of some DFX orders. A plan is in place which seeks to rectify these issues and progress is being reported back to industry. Improvements in quality are acknowledged by industry.

Industry had expressed its concern to Openreach regarding the current policy of not offering fibre that is pre-2000, as in some circumstances G.652.A fibre was used prior to this date and allowing its use could solve a number of order rejections. Openreach has offered a trial the use of pre-2000 fibre on routes less than 40km and a final version of the trial agreement has been published for review, to industry.

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 of proposals previously submitted by industry, before publishing, in December 2020, a final consultation which will indicate their decision regarding the 2 specific proposals under review.

Ofcom have also declared that once they have published their final consultation, industry will be required to implement the new switching & porting process within the following 24 month period.

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 keen to implement the R2P enhancement as soon as possible as it will eliminate a significant industry cost of failure whilst providing a much better End Customer experience.

Blockchain Proof of Concept for Number Porting & Number Management

This Ofcom-sponsored ‘Proof of Concept’ project has now been completed and a full closure report, including conclusions is expected to become available by end of October 2020.

Porting for Business – New Reforms

A number of improvements were launched on 7 September 2020, which were aimed at improving the order handling process for business customers where complex reseller supply chains are involved.

A period of ‘parallel running’ has been extended to allow more time for the large reseller community to assimilate the new process changes.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre Provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 7.5, 7.3, and 7.8, working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 25 October 2020 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).

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

Copper Repair

LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance has been tracking an improving trend, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 86 % and 84 % respectively, by week ending 16 October 2020.

*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections