Telecommunications Adjudicator Update for July 2006

The number of Lines Unbundled has exceeded 673,000. The Tactical Automation Platforms remain stable. The EMP Platform is delivering orders successfully.

There is ongoing concern that the Right First Time delivery of Business As Usual (BAU) unbundled lines continues to deteriorate from planned quality levels. This is particularly worrying as the BAU lines have not yet met their planned quality targets. Openreach continue to drive a new Improvement Plan that John Small (Openreach MD Service) is confident will address the continuing volume increases and the coming holiday period, however, significant improvement has so far failed to materialise. John has targeted September for a significant improvement in Delivery Quality.

Bulk Migration numbers continues to grow, the Right First Time quality measure is deteriorating, Openreach are investigating where the problems lie to establish the cause and rectify it urgently.

The delivery of Backhaul for PoPs in exchanges continues to improve. 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.

Co-Mingling PoP build performance is also continuing to improve; the Openreach Quality Improvement plan will continue to need a high level of co-ordination and service level management between Openreach and BT Wholesale.

A number of LLUOs including BT Wholesale are using the new EMP Service and volumes are increasing. The platform has experienced the sort of issues one might expect in its early days. Openreach has responded well to these issues. A new Web Services capability has been introduced on EMP and is being trialled.

The next major release of EMP, i.e. R300, is due at the end of September. This release includes some additional functionality for LLUOs. There is some concern in the LLU community about how this release has been approached by Openreach. A number of LLUOs believe their genuine requirements have not been adequately considered whilst other requests were progressed. This is very disappointing given the hard work and co-ordination that has gone on between the LLUOs and Openreach in the past with OTA facilitation. OTA is attempting to clarify the situation. Openreach are reviewing how this was handled internally.

There are no Disputes in progress at the present time.

I am pleased we have reached 673,000 lines on the current tactical platforms and processes. The Key to success is now getting the Right First Time KPI back on track for BAU and Bulk Migration.

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

The success of the scheme so far has been demonstrated, I believe, by the very significant plans being implemented by large Communications Providers such as Sky, Orange, Tiscali, AOL, Bulldog and Carphone Warehouse. The dramatic increases in activity are inevitably straining processes. I expect Openreach to have addressed and fixed these issues over the next few months.

Ofcom have written to all LLUOs to ascertain their views on the possible wind down of the OTA scheme. Ofcom expect to communicate an update in September.


Peter McD. Black

Telecommunications Adjudicator