Telecommunications Adjudicator Update for December 2006

There are now greater than one million, three hundred thousand lines unbundled in the UK. The key issues going forward are the ongoing success of the Service Improvement Plans, Openreach Systems (EMP) stability and industry adoption and Migrations processes being fit for industrial use and adopted by CPs.

The Right First Time delivery of business as usual (BAU) unbundled lines has now increased from 83% to 94% against a target of 98%, so significant improvements are now coming through from the Service Improvement Plan. This is excellent news however the good performance of SMPF (shared) is masking a significant underperformance on MPF (fully unbundled). MPF is improving (currently 68%), but not fast enough and is well below target. The OTA is investigating in greater depth to understand and help resolve the underlying issues between Openreach and CPs for MPF.

Migrations; I reported last month that problems for customers continue to be reported particularly where the losing CP is using LLU. OTA in conjunction with Ofcom and Openreach have set up and are coordinating a cross-industry plan involving LLU operators, IPStream Resellers and BT Wholesale to allow inter-product migrations to take place seamlessly. Whilst this plan is being developed a range of short-term actions to attempt to alleviate the issues are already in-hand involving most stakeholders. A key ‘multilateral’ workshop is scheduled for 18th January to review progress and agree immediate next steps.

Bulk Migration throughput volumes continue on track. RFT Delivery for SMPF has settled recently at 91% against a target of 98%. Mass Migration for MPF is also improving but is lagging SMPF significantly at 81% before taking DOAs into account.

Backhaul delivery continues to track targets.

Assurance; Performance has improved significantly during the early weeks of the Service Improvement Plan on the 40 hour fix; however the 20 hour fix still has significant improvements to make.

Comingling delivery is still below target, however the service is predictable and working well so operators are reasonably happy with the service. The remaining planning issues that have been causing problems have been identified and addressed by Openreach and the process improvements will come through the pipeline over the next few weeks. David Campbell of Openreach is convinced these improvements will get the performance back on track to meet the target by the end of January 2007.

It is still the case that although increasing numbers of CPs are using EMP, some continue to find it a difficult experience and are reluctant to ramp up their volumes. Openreach is working to bring the platform to a satisfactory performance level. A service improvement plan for EMP has been developed, it is intended to dovetail this plan with the End-to-End Service Improvement Plan, (phases 1 and 2) and the Product development plan, so that an overall Integrated Plan that addresses all issues in a holistic way can be implemented.

The First Touch Last Touch performance for orders including EMP is now available from Openreach for publication; (See KPI) SMPF performance is working well, however MPF performance is still problematical, therefore OTA are driving an initiative to establish an agreed Dashboard that Openreach, CPs and OTA can support and that will give CPs a clear view of the performance of the services they receive from EMP.

Product Development; Rob Sanders has committed to produce an integrated Product/Service/EMP improvement plan by the next LLU executive on the 18th of January.

There are no Disputes in progress with the OTA at the present time.

It is excellent that the volumes continue to rise and we are in excess of 1.3 Million lines unbundled, however the key to further success continues to be, getting the Right First Time KPI back on track for MPF in particular through the further sustainable execution of the Service Improvement Plans from Openreach and the successful full introduction of EMP and the CPs’ transition onto it.

OTA continues to focus on:

1) EMP Plans & Delivery; 2) Fit For Purpose Migrations Processes; 3) BAU performance.

Peter McD. Black

Telecommunications Adjudicator