Telecommunications Adjudicator update for September 2019

An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in September 2019.

At the end of September, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.987 million. There are 4.28 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.75 million.*


The Ethernet service levels are showing continued stability and the as the workstack is brought under control. Volume of orders remains high as does the number of completions. Openreach has undertaken a significant review of Operational Performance and has shared the details of their improvement activities with the Ethernet Service Forum.

OTA2 will continue to monitor and work with Openreach to ensure that the service improvements are imbedded and maintained going forwards.

Reimaging Ethernet Programme (REP)

The CP REP position has been shared with Openreach SMT and a joint Openreach CP review of alignment to the REP principles has been held. It was agreed at the review to go forward to get to a common view of ‘what good looks like’ for a new delivery process against the agreed REP principles. This review will take place in quick time over the coming six or so weeks.

Passive Infrastructure Access

There is continued work developing the PIA product. As previously reported proactive pole testing allowing CPs to notify Openreach at the planning stage any poles which are out of date on the pole test schedule. Openreach are developing a proposal to enable CPs to forward request poles to be tested.

The development of a framework to enable CPs wanting to undertake Network Adjustment orders themselves and move to a more collaborative approach to order validation and payment for works is ongoing with Openreach providing more of the detail around qualification. The next step is to move into a trial period where we can validate the process and the suitability of the qualification values.

Openreach have released system improvement changes aimed at enhanced system performance, we await CP feedback on the impact of the changes. In addition, within the system changes the components to enable the creation of Project areas have been deployed, this functionality will now go into a period of detailed testing – final release to CPs looking like the second week in October.

Automatic Compensation

From analysis of recent messages, Openreach believe they have now reached a level of in excess of 98% accuracy but will continue to seek improvements in collaboration with Industry. In view of this, at the September CFPCG industry agreed the SoR supporting the implementation of the voluntary code should be considered as delivered.

WLR3 Withdrawal and Fibre-only trials

During September Openreach held three events in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh to provide feedback on the dual consultation on the Salisbury (Fibre only) and Mildenhall (Single Order only) proposed trails. Overall, CPs have supported the approach and Openreach have adjusted the ‘stop sell’ timeframes at the request of CPs. OTA2 gave a presentation on developing a CP best practice for both trials that will be developed at the forthcoming industry workshop, hosted by OTA2 on 06 November 2019 in London.

Dark Fibre

Openreach soft launched the DFX product in August in a limited geography and are progressively expanding this up until full launch in January 2020. The limited time available prior to soft launch did not allow for significant discussion regarding the Reference Offer. Post soft-launch, negotiations have commenced to address industry comments on the Reference Offer and will continue up until full launch.

Consumer Switching

All IP – Migrations Testing Programme (AIP-MTP)

At the request of Ofcom, OTA2 are leading an 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.

Phase 1 testing is limited to a small group of major retailers and their respective wholesale partners. The tests are progressing steadily although progress has been slow as various porting-related issues have surfaced requiring prompt remedial attention before the tests can be satisfactorily completed.

Whilst these issues were not anticipated, it does confirm the value of doing these tests in the first place.

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

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) continue to develop a comprehensive ‘requirements’ statement against which the Blockchain ‘Proof of Concept’ (POC) capabilities can be evaluated.

The POC project is now being rolled out to a small group of stakeholders for them to explore the various porting capabilities provided by the platform.

Tactical Process Reforms

The current process is undergoing major reform to remove long-standing weaknesses which mostly impact port orders for business end users. The initial batch of reforms are targeted for launch during the Autumn period and will help to reduce CP cost of failure and improve end user satisfaction.

EECC Fixed Line Switching and Porting Working Group

The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) will update and replace the existing EU regulatory framework for electronic communications within the UK. At Ofcom’s instigation, the OTA2 has convened an industry working group with the task of developing a new Gaining Provider-led switching process which Consumers will use when switching within or between different access infrastructures

The initial task is for industry to develop a suitable switching process for Ofcom’s consideration/approval by November 2019 followed by an implementation period currently targeted for completion by 21st December 2020.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 6.1, 5.5, and 7.5 working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 24 September 2019 (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 continues to maintain an improving trend, achieving 4 week rolling average of 85% and 83% respectively, by week ending 20 September 2019.

*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections