Telecommunications Adjudicator Update for June 2006

The number of Lines Unbundled has exceeded 580,000. As reported last month the weekly throughput of lines continues to rise and Bulk Migration is increasing. The Tactical Automation Platforms remain stable. The weaknesses in the delivery of Backhaul and Co-mingling PoPs from Openreach and BT Wholesale that I previously reported have been addressed with credible Quality Improvement Plans. Progress has been made in addressing the Migrations issues highlighted last month. Release 200 (Phase 2) of the Openreach EMP IT Platform is now delivering orders for LLUOs including BT Wholesale.

There is growing concern that the delivery of Business As Usual (BAU) unbundled lines is deteriorating from current quality levels. This is particularly worrying as the BAU lines have not yet met their current quality targets. Openreach have produced a new Improvement Plan that John Small (Openreach MD Service) is confident will address the continuing volume increases and the coming holiday period to ensure Quality Performance deterioration is halted and is Driven Upwards.

The delivery of Backhaul for PoPs in exchanges is improving. The delivery to CDD (Contracted Delivery Date) is tracking the Improvement Plan and the backlog remains under control. The more challenging Improvement Plan that will drive the Backhaul Circuit delivery to CRD (Customer Required Date) is starting to demonstrate the improvements intended. Openreach with support from BT Wholesale continue to apply high levels of resource to addressing this challenge.

Co-Mingling PoP build performance has improved significantly however the Openreach Quality Improvement plan continues to need a high level of co-ordination and service level management between Openreach and BT Wholesale. A potentially serious power shortage problem arose in new LLU exchanges due to increased forecast volumes of PoPs and forward planning issues. The initial impact has been significantly reduced through an innovative agreement between Openreach and the LLU Operators on the flexible use of power in exchanges.

Phase 1 (R100) & Phase 2 (R200) of the Strategic Systems (EMP) for LLU SMPF & MPF are now on one release, R200, that is handling orders. A limited number of LLUOs including BT Wholesale are using the service and volumes are increasing. The upgrade to Phase 2 (R200) has taken a great deal of hard work and has been subject to some of the teething troubles that one would expect with such a large IT Project. The remaining LLUOs will be ramping up their volumes on to the EMP Platform over the coming weeks and months. The deliverables to be included in the next release, i.e. R300, that is due at the end of September, will now be an urgent area of focus for LLUOs and OTA over the next few weeks.

Bulk Migration continues to grow 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 580,000 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 continuing stability of; and LLUO transition to; the Strategic (EMP) Openreach Systems are essential to keep the momentum going.

OTA will continue to focus in particular on: Business as Usual Line Delivery; Backhaul & Co-mingling Delivery Quality and Strategic Automation ( EMP) Plans & Delivery. However the amount of intervention that the OTA team has to undertake is reducing and therefore I will be considering with Ofcom and the LLUOs how and when we will wind down the OTA involvement in LLU.


Peter McD. Black

Telecommunications Adjudicator