Telecommunications Adjudicator update for January 2020

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

At the end of January 2020, the number of unbundled lines stands at 9.92 million. There are 4.26 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.94 million.*


Ethernet service performance is back to previous levels for MttP on top of the continued record levels of circuits delivered.

The drive of sustainability for good service 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 final parts of the review for the Ethernet delivery process have completed for REP. Openreach have taken the proposals through an SMT review and are now documenting the outline agreement. Supporting documentation will be released to the CPs shortly for their consideration.  The plan going forwards is to scope a trial to test the principles which are central to the REP approach.

Passive Infrastructure Access

PIA continues to be the most dynamic of products and the demand for its use shows little sign of slowing down. There are circa 100 CPs either established or in the process of establishment.

As previously reported progress is 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. 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.

Service and No Undue Discrimination 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.

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

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.

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 2 solutions previously proposed by CPs.

Ofcom have asked the OTA2 team to ‘manage and oversee’ the industry effort needed to accomplish the task set.

CPs will look to complete this latest request from Ofcom by end of February 2020.

A special industry workshop was held in January aimed at identifying a suitable switching process for the business market which meets the 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 8.3, 6.9, and 11 working days for Copper, Fibre (MI) and Fibre (SI) installations respectively, over the 5-day period ending 26 January 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 86% and 83% respectively, by week ending 17 January 2020.

*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections