Telecommunications Adjudicator update for February 2020
An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in February 2020.
At the end of February 2020, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.75 million. There are 4.26 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.95 million.*
Ethernet service remains steady with reasonable MttP (mean time to provide) against high demand and high delivery rates. As previously reported the drive for sustainability of the good service levels is continuing, with new focus on the service desk and plans to tackle some of the long running service challenges, such as how to resolve protracted negotiations for wayleaves rather than cancel the provision.
Reimagining Ethernet Programme (REP)
The revised documentation for REP was issued on Friday 28 February 2020. CPs can now review with a view to supporting the proposed changes. Openreach and CPs will then be able to scope and set up a trial of the new way of working, assessing the impact of moving from quotation to orders and how to get effective date setting for both Openreach and CPs.
Passive Infrastructure Access
Key areas of focus are Systems performance and development, whilst ensuring that the consumption of the product is as reasonable as possible. The main challenge is how to facilitate the scale network builders’ access to the system is as automated as possible and data can be traded across API interfaces rather than manually operated.
We continue to work with Openreach and the CPs in bedding down PIA post the reference offer and resolving the teething problems with the operation of the product. There are active discussions on Network Adjustments, Auditing, T2R Processes, Forecasting Accreditation.
Post full-launch, negotiations have been ongoing to address industry comments on the updated Reference Offer published on 22 November 2019.
Agreement has now been reached regarding the definitions affecting usage and allowable topologies, which have now been notified by Openreach. Agreement has not yet been reached on how fibre exhaustion, migration or the process assessing any case for fibre augmentation will be addressed. Industry continues to await Openreach publication of its proposed policy before any discussion can commence.
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 (ECWG) with the task of developing a new Gaining Provider-led switching process which Consumers will use when switching within or between different access infrastructures
Following receipt of industry’s report in December 2019, Ofcom have sent a letter to CPs (early January 2020) to request further work be undertaken to provide more detail (i.e. solution design, costs & timescales) to underpin the two solutions previously proposed by CPs.
Ofcom have asked the OTA2 team to ‘manage and oversee’ the industry effort needed to accomplish the task set by the end of February 2020.
Under OTA2’s stewardship, industry have invested significant time and resource in meeting Ofcom’s latest request and are on track to deliver the more detailed submissions which Ofcom need in order that they may complete a thorough evaluation of the two solutions proposed and make an informed decision thereafter.
Right to Port
A separate ECWG workstream is underway to address an additional EECC requirement to deliver the changes needed to allow an End User to port their number for a period of 30 calendar days following termination of their pre-existing service.
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 minutes but is proving difficult to achieve in the testing completed to date.
Another important element of this testing programme is for ‘gaining CPs’ to validate the Openreach ‘special services restoration’ (SSR) process, which is aimed at restoring service to vulnerable customers who may have lost their pre-existing ‘special’ service following migration to a VOIP-based tel. service. (e.g. due to a compatibility issue)
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 8.5, 7.1, and 8.7 working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 24 February 2020 (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 88% and 83% respectively, by week ending 14 February 2020.
*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections