Telecommunications Adjudicator update for August 2023
An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in August 2023.
At the end of August 2023, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.89 million. There are 2.84million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.29 million.*
The following is an update on the principal areas of project activity being led by OTA2.
Passive Infrastructure Access
Health and Safety, and good working practice continues to require attention across industry. We continue to see instances of poor working practices which could expose both engineers and the general public to risk.
Operational performance remains good.
The Incident Management Framework is continuing to develop. The document has been re written to include feedback from CPs at the June workshop. Openreach are developing plans to begin adapting the JSV processes to bring them into line with the Incident Management thinking. This will be shared with CPs in due course.
Active workstreams currently running to improve the product and its usability for CPs are:
- NA Evidence and quality documentation for CPs to able to instruct their field resources.
- Connecting Customers
- Incident Management
Performance remains steady. Order intake remains high c1550 per week with a slightly over 25% fallout to cancellation and a completion rate of c1100 orders per week.
The workstack has seen a slight decrease and seems to have settled at just over 20k. Fluidity of the workstack remains a key area of focus for Openreach c60% non-fluid.
Areas of interest
Order Quality – Front desk order quality and setting standards.
Transflex phase 2 – Information sharing and embedding the use of Transflex into orders.
Survey Tools – getting the most out of customer surveys.
Copper and Fibre
Industry engagement to review FTTP metrics is continuing and will run through to late summer. The expectation is that the metric set will include some of the existing measures and also metrics currently shared by the service managers with CPs. The aim is to define a set of Key Performance Indicators which are appropriately supported, relevant and recognised by Openreach and Industry and which will effectively track the end customer experience. Work is also continuing regarding the KCI2 Assure process utilised on complex FTTP provisions with a view to improving the customer experience and thereby reducing pre-installation cancellations.
Openreach and CPs have yet to reach agreement regarding FTTP post-PONR cancellation charges, however, Openreach still plans to implement its policy change on 16 September 2023.
All-IP Steering Group
Within the Salisbury and Mildenhall trials, non-migrated customers have had their service degraded. Openreach has informed CPs that it will cease those customer lines where it has seen no voice or data traffic in the last 6-months on 31 October 2023. Where there has been voice or data traffic in the past 6-months, the service degradation currently being applied will be removed but Openreach reserve the right to take further measures against these lines as it nears the December 2025 deadline.
WLR UK Stop sell was implemented as planned on 5 September 2023 at which point:
- There is now no new provision of WLR (basic or premium), ISDN2, ISDN30 and associated broadband products (SMPF, SLU SMPF, FTTC),
- No new CP establishment to sell WLR will be undertaken.
The ‘Exceptions’ process remains in place to address circumstances where no equivalent product currently exists on FTTP or SOGEA. In areas outside the fibre footprint, the target product is SOTAP or MPF. However, WLR will continue to be sold in this footprint until 28 March 2024 to provide additional time for WLR CPs to consume the SOTAP product. Openreach has published its Consultation document on how it proposes to exit 103 priority exchanges by 2030. Industry has been requested to respond by 21 September 2023.
The revised Ofcom General Conditions (GCs) mandating this process came into effect on 3 April 2023, although industry has not yet been in a position to implement OTS.
Industry and TOTSCo (www.totsco.org.uk) continue to work to agree and publish a timeline for delivery of OTS and the supporting Hub technology, along with proposals for on-boarding of Retailers (Consumer facing Communications Providers), billing and service support.
OTA2 maintain close engagement with Industry and TOTSCo, supporting both through a number of initiatives.
In the revised Ofcom GC’s effective from 3 April 2023, Ofcom have directed that switching for Business customers must follow a Gaining Provider Lead (GPL) process, though unlike Consumer switching, there is no mandate of a specific process, only that Industry should adopt agreed ‘Best Practice’
The Gaining Provider Lead Business Steering Group (GPLB-SG), with a membership that represents a cross-section of the parties involved in Business Communications service provision and switching has an active website, available for all at: www.fcs.org.uk/gaining-provider-led-business-switching/ where CPs can find Process documentation, FAQs and more.
Ofcom have written to OTA2 requesting that we lead on the implementation of OTS Porting (aka Express Porting)
The request is for OTA2 to work with Communications Providers in scope of OTS rules, including, as appropriate, in consultation with the existing industry number porting groups, to focus wider industry effort on developing and implementing changes to number porting best practice to ensure it fully takes account of the interactions with OTS and achieves a better switching and porting experience for residential customers. It is recognised this should not compromise industry’s ongoing preparations for OTS launch on the go-live date of 14 March 2024, however it must happen as quickly as possible thereafter.
OTA2 will mobilise to support this request.
The NPESG and NPPCG continue to consider what improvements should be made to the Porting process, which has been running for over 20 years, seeking to identify opportunities for improvement and simplification within the existing framework and processes.
Number Porting is also not immune from the changes to switching (OTS and GPLB) and the fora are continuing to respond to this, considering how best to complement the switching processes.
Copper and fibre provision
Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, over the 5-day period ending 9 September 2023 was as follows:
|Service Installation type
|FAD First Available Appointment Date (Backstop SLA = 12 days)
- MI and SI are Managed-Install and Self-Install orders
- FTTC is Fibre to the cabinet
- FTTP is Fibre to the premises
- SOGEA is Single Order Generic Ethernet Access
- GFAST is Fibre-base Ultrafast Broadband
LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance has seen a slight upward trend for LLU and steady for WLR, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 87.4% and 82.8% respectively, by week ending 1 September 2023.
Due to the performance data not being available this month, the Ethernet KPI charts have not been updated.
*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections
Signed David Halliday