Telecommunications Adjudicator update for November 2019
An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in November 2019.
At the end of November 2019, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.983 million. There are 4.28million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.91 million.*
Ethernet operational performance remains under scrutiny and is continuing to steadily improve back to pre-crisis levels. Openreach are continuing to review the operation and have instigated a root and branch review of the service desk and control functions, which we are fully supportive of. The CPs will be kept informed of any outcome through the ESF.
Reimaging Ethernet Programme (REP)
The final parts of the review of the Ethernet delivery process have completed for REP. Openreach are now in the process of writing up the outline agreement and supporting documentation. Target date for getting the pack out to CPs is early December.
Passive Infrastructure Access
PIA remains a very dynamic product with the number of registered CPs growing at around 10 per month.
In line with expectation for a new product, Statements of Requirements 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 and trying to ensure that the consumption of the product is as reasonable as possible.
Service and KPI development – ensuring that we are measuring the key points in the process to give CPs comfort that they are getting the best out of the product.
WLR3 Withdrawal and Fibre-only trials
OTA2 hosted the latest working group with Openreach and industry on 6 November 2019. In addition to a review of the two trials, time was spent on the proposed trials best practice guide. Since then there have been three follow up sessions, two general and one specific on split contracts. This input is currently being collated to update the draft that will be shared with industry before Christmas.
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 been ongoing to address industry comments on the initial Reference Offer. The updated Reference Offer was published on 22 November 2019.
While this addressed many of the comments raised by industry, significantly agreement was not achieved within the time available in the areas of circuit migration where fibre is exhausted, clarity on the definitions affecting usage and allowable topologies and on how Openreach will assess 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 is for industry to develop a suitable switching process for Ofcom’s consideration/approval by end November 2019 followed by an implementation period currently targeted for completion by 21 December 2020.
OTA2 have hosted a series of workshops involving a good cross-section of Industry stakeholders (e.g. Alternative access providers, Wholesalers, Retailers)
Various proposals are being evaluated against a pre-agreed set of ‘base capabilities’ which, together, form the basis of a ‘credible’ Gaining provider-led switching process. Whilst progress has been ‘slow and steady’ with mixed views expressed by different stakeholders, the group are now in the process of finalising its report to Ofcom.
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.
Copper & Fibre provision
Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, has been averaging 7, 6, and 8.4 working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 26 November 2019 (vs backstop SLA of 12 working days).
(Note: MI and SI are Managed-Install and Self-Install orders respectively)
LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance is maintaining an improving trend, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 85% and 82% respectively, by week ending 22 November 2019.
*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections