Telecommunications Adjudicator Update for October 2005

The number of Unbundled Lines now exceeds 140000; the current run rate of orders is greater than 4000 per week.

The operational problems reported over the last couple of months are showing some improvement. The Right First Time KPI is improving on a week by week basis but is still well below target. Current performance is affected by a combination of automation and operational problems. I look forward to the current upward trend being continued.

As I reported last month, Steve Robertson, CEO of openreach, has assured me he is reviewing the overall situation and is giving the Operational and IT issues his highest priority. In addition I have assurances from the BT CIO Al-Noor Ramji that BT IT and Openreach will work closely together to ensure both the Tactical and Strategic LLU systems are delivered Fit for Purpose and on time. After many months of steady progress BT, the OTA and the LLUOs have been disappointed with the recent setbacks and are focussed on getting back on track. Signs of improvement are apparent; however it is too early to say we are on a sustainable trend.

OTA is leading LLUO KPI measurement work to co-ordinate activities between BT and LLUOs to cleanse the statistics and agree common definitions for Performance reporting.

The OTA has changed its view to ‘encouraged’ with the status of the Key Tactical Automation platforms. We have reached recent stability on both the MPF and SMPF platforms. However we need a few more weeks of stability behind us to be sure we have solved the recent problems.

As a result of our concerns, Automation remains an area of forensic focus for OTA in support of BT and the LLUOs. It is critical that the Tactical systems are further ‘hardened’ in both stability and throughput capability to become robust, quality, automated provisioning systems whilst the industry awaits the Strategic System delivery next year.

The Bulk Migration task team continues to make progress in defining processes and evaluating the projected volumes of lines to be migrated. An updated detailed migration plan has been produced for the next 18 months based on new forecast inputs from the Bulk Migrating LLUOs. Work is ongoing to smooth the forecast and ensure the IT systems can support the Bulk Migration process and peaks. A number of the current IT issues could delay the start of the intensive Bulk Migration Programme and therefore are being treated with high priority by BT.

In the last report I recorded that the BT Plan & Build process has encountered delivery problems and had drifted significantly from target quality as volumes have doubled. OTA has now had sight of the elements of a ‘get well’ plan from BT that should recover the P&B activity to acceptable quality levels.

The implementation of the BT Strategic Systems for LLU and the Transition from current Tactical Systems continues to be a significant area of focus for the OTA The plans for Phase 1 SMPF (February 2006) and Phase 2 MPF (June 2006) have been signed off at the Market Breakthrough Executive. Some LLUOs have now initiated their development and testing cycles to dovetail with BT’s planned delivery cycle to ensure a quality implementation early next year.

The issues on Backhaul remain delivery of circuits to Customer Required Dates and co-ordination with the build of POPs. This area has had some recent improvement. New KPIs are in place to focus on these issues and signs of improvement are coming through from BT. Delivery to Customer Contract Date continues to improve, however few circuits are meeting the Target Delivery SLG of 60 days or being co-ordinated with PoP Build. BT offer a pre-planning service to LLUOs that BT claim should significantly improve delivery times when used.

There are no Disputes in progress at the present time.

We have reached 140,000 lines; some signs of stability of IT and improvement of the RFT KPI are evident but there is still some way to go before we achieve the Market Breakthrough. However; given the strong assurances from Steve Robertson, Al-Noor Ramji and their teams, I remain confident that the industry will deliver LLU successfully.

OTA will continue to focus in particular on a) Operational Stability, b) Tactical Automation Stability c) Bulk Migration and d) Strategic Automation Plans.

Peter McD. Black

Telecommunications Adjudicator