Telecommunications Adjudicator Update for April 2006

The number of lines unbundled has exceeded 420,000. The weekly throughput of lines continues to rise. Bulk migration during May & June will significantly increase this number. A number of initiatives are in place to improve the RFT KPIs from Openreach. Focus on the remaining process issues and in particular New MPF Provision continues. The Tactical Automation Platforms remain stable.

Last month I reported some significant concerns.

1) The delivery of Backhaul for PoPs in exchanges was unacceptable and had been an outstanding issue for some time. The Quality Improvement Plan put in place by Openreach is now delivering on its targets. The delivery to CCD (Customer Contracted Date) is tracking the plan and the backlog has dramatically reduced. The more challenging Plan that will drive the Backhaul Circuit delivery to CRD (Customer Required Date) was delivered to a subset of the LLU Executive on Monday the 10 th of April and after much feedback and significant re-work was presented by Openreach to the LLU Executive face to face meeting on Thursday 13th of April. The plan was appreciated by the LLUOs as a significant improvement; however the speed of ramp-up of quality is not yet seen as satisfactory by a number of the LLUOs because acceptable quality is not achieved until the end of 2006.

2) The delivery of Phase 1 of the Strategic Systems ( EMP) for LLU SMPF had slipped from the original dates, however I am pleased to report that Openreach and the CPs have agreed that Phase 1 (Release: 100) has exited the Pilot and will now be in production for SMPF. A limited number of LLUOs will be using the service at this stage.

3) Full Operation of Phase 2 of the Strategic Systems ( EMP) for LLU and in particular for MPF (fully unbundled) is still due to start on the 30 th June 2006. The LLUOs have started signing up to ‘On-Ramp’ slots on the Release 200 EMP. All concerned are still aware that this is a challenging deliverable for all concerned.

4) I reported last month that Co-Mingling PoP build performance has suffered a significant setback. Since my last report a new Quality Improvement plan has been put in place that requires a high level of co-ordination and service level management between Openreach and BT Wholesale. The respective Openreach and BT Wholesale CEOs are signing off a credible plan to recover performance to the levels expected by the LLUOs. I look forward to seeing rapid improvement and the OTA will be monitoring this closely.

Bulk Migration continues and is achieving a good quality level. Continued focus at executive level in Openreach and the Bulk Migrating LLUOs is making sure the programme is on track.

There are no Disputes in progress at the present time.

I am pleased we have reached 420,000 lines on the current tactical platforms and processes. However it is still important to recognise that the Delivery of Backhaul and Co-Mingling PoPs in a quality manner and the move to the Strategic ( EMP) Openreach systems at a time when the CPs need the functionality for their businesses are essential to keep the momentum going.

OTA will continue to focus in particular on: Backhaul & Co-mingling Delivery Quality and Strategic Automation ( EMP) Plans & Delivery.

Peter McD. Black

Telecommunications Adjudicator