Telecommunications Adjudicator update for December 2019

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

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At the end of December 2019, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.95 million. There are 4.27 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.94 million.

Ethernet

Ethernet operational performance is continuing to steadily improve back to previous levels for MttP on top of the continued record levels of circuits delivered. For service delivery, Openreach have instigated a root and branch review of the service desk and control functions, we await the output. The CPs will be kept informed of any outcome through the ESF.

Reimagining Ethernet Programme (REP)

The final parts of the review for the Ethernet delivery process have completed for REP. Openreach are now in the process of documenting the outline agreement and supporting documentation which will then be taken through their governance process. Target date for getting the proposal out to CPs is mid-January.

Passive Infrastructure Access

Over the last 12 months PIA has undergone significant changes in product structure, demand, systems development and general CP interest. The number of registered CPs is growing at around 10 per month.

In line with expectation for a new product, Statements of Requirements (SORs) for product enhancement and adaptation have continued to emerge and we have taken the decision to host a separate monthly review of progress to keep track.

Key areas of focus are Systems performance and development whilst ensuring that the consumption of the product is as reasonable as possible.

Service and KPI development is continuing so as to ensure that the pertinent milestones and events of the process are being measured, to reassure CPs they are getting the best out of the product.

Dark Fibre

Post full-launch, negotiations have been ongoing to address industry comments on the updated Reference Offer published on 22 November 2019.

While this addressed many of the comments initially raised by industry, agreement has now been reached regarding the definitions affecting usage and allowable topologies. Agreement has not been reached on how fibre exhaustion, migration or the process assessing any case for fibre augmentation.  It is anticipated that dialogue on these aspects will continue up to and after full launch.

Consumer Switching and 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. At Ofcom’s instigation, 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 was for industry to specify a suitable switching process for the domestic market and following a series of workshops, a ‘final’ report was submitted to Ofcom in December 2019. Although the group were unable to reach consensus on a single solution, the report describes 2 possible options for Ofcom’s consideration.

In parallel with the ECWG work, Ofcom have launched a formal consultation to solicit wider industry views on the various provisions contained within the EECC.

Further workshops are planned for January and February 2020 to:

  1. define a suitable switching process for the business market which meets the EECC requirements.
  2. Develop and implement plans to enhance the existing number porting process to meet EECC requirements

All IP – Migrations Testing Programme (AIP-MTP)

At the request of Ofcom, OTA2 are leading an industry programme aimed at 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 slowly as various porting-related issues have surfaced requiring remedial attention before the tests can be satisfactorily completed. A key element of the testing being carried out is to validate timely activation of the End Customer’s new digital voice service once their new broadband service has been commissioned. This should only take 15-20 mins but is proving difficult to achieve in the testing completed to date.

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

The testing to date has focused on migrations to SOGEA (Single order GEA) - based broadband services, with migrations to FTTP-based services to follow.

Service Levels

Copper & Fibre provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 8, 8, and 11 working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 4January 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 is maintaining an improving trend, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 85% and 81% respectively, by week ending 27 December 2019.


*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections