Telecommunications Adjudicator update for December 2023

An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in December 2023.

See the latest charts

At the end of December 2023, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.50 million. There are 2.42million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.00 million.  *

The following is an update on the principal areas of project activity being led by OTA2.

Passive infrastructure access

Given the prevailing challenges of the wider economy we have developed a framework document which sets out the principles to be followed by Network operators looking to exit or acquire assets built using PIA. The document will be published on the OTA2 web portal and referenced in the PIA Product description.

The document is called:

Guidance for the Managing the Challenges of Transitioning Distressed Network Assets Where PIA has been used for Network Build.

Operational performance remains good.

The latest version of Incident Management Framework v7.1 has been shared with Industry. The implementation of some of the changes is starting with enhanced KCI messages being sent to affected CPs. The initial stages are for pole incidents, with U/G incidents to follow  There is now additional guidance on major incidents and the approach to interaction following the ACE Accommodate, Collaborate and Enable -principles discussed in the 2nd workshop. Further workshops are being planned and invites will be shared when we are ready.

Active workstreams currently running to improve the product and its usability for CPs are:

  • Health & Safety and good working practices
  • NA Evidence and quality documentation for CPs to able to instruct their field resources.
  • Connecting Customers
  • Incident Management
  • Multiple Network Adjustment orders for the same blockage.


Performance remains steady.

Overall order intake is lower on an annualised basis, with EAD orders c5% up but the other portfolio products dropping back. Order intake is C1300 which is lower than previous months

Completion rate of c1100 orders per week has continued through December. The workstack is now stabilising at around 20k.

Areas of interest

Order Quality Remains an area of focus and plans to expose the details behind the issues are being brought to the January ESF. Closure of delays when CPs respond to information requests and job fluidity, plus services terminating in Data Centres are areas of focus and review

Transflex phase 2 – Information sharing and embedding the use of Transflex into orders. The demand stories for this development have been shared with industry at the Solution Development Forum and we await feedback from CPs to see if there are any additional issues to address.

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. Following a short pause to allow other projects to be progressed, this work will recommence in February.

Good progress has been made regarding reviewing the KCI2 Assure process utilised on complex FTTP provisions with the intent of improving the customer experience, increasing certainty and thereby reducing pre-installation cancellations and a trial of the agreed approach commences end-January.

The Telecoms Security Act (TSA) and the Electronic Communications (Security Measures) Regulations 2022 (“ECSMR”) came into force in October 2022, and a Code of Practice providing guidance to CPs on how to comply with the new regulation, was published by Ofcom in December 2022. Sky have now formally requested Openreach to work with CPs to agree text that commits Openreach (in the relevant product contracts) to support the requirements of the regulations. Openreach are considering their response.

Discussions have commenced on an SLG for FTTP cancellations following Openreach delay. This is being run under the 6-month WFTMR process. Openreach have requested that CPs demonstrate a causal link between an Openreach miss or delay and customer cancellations.

All-IP Steering Group

Ofcom wrote to some CPs at the end of 2023 regarding their responsibilities towards vulnerable customers with telecare alarms and made the statement that no telecare device must be left in a none working state post migration. In view of this CPs have stopped provision orders where a telecare alarm is present and Openreach is returning any that slip through the order process. This has caused a level of customer dissatisfaction and CPs and Openreach are working together to seek to identify where it might be appropriate to apply a better process to support the Ofcom statement.

The Ofcom statement regarding not leaving telecare not working has implications for the planned “On-the-Day" process due to be launched July 2024, which would have allowed specialist appointments for telecare. This was predicated on handing faults associated with the telecare compatibility issues over to the telecare provider to resolve and for the user to be picked up under the providers safe-guarding procedures.  The on-the-day development will now be to be rescoped to allow for a full reversion of the line, so launch is unlikely in 2024.

The exemption on WLR stop-sell associated with the SOTAP footprint is due to finish end-March. A number of CPs have requested Openreach extend this, which is under consideration.

Openreach received comprehensive feedback to the Exchange Exit Con’ Doc’. Openreach published their initial feedback in December confirming the strategic direction of the programme. They remain confident that they are on track for a further update addressing the commercial issues raised by industry, during March 2024.

Customer switching

The announced delay in the full deployment of OTS for residential consumers has not reduced the engagement or effort in the work involving OTA2, either through the engagement with Industry or directly with TOTSCo.

The IPG (Industry Process Group -co-chaired by OTA2) continues to develop and refine a suite of ‘Best Practice’ guides (which are published on the TOTSCo website ( for all CPs to use when developing their own processes and procedures related to customer switching. OTA2, with support from Industry, are also considering the future engagement strategy that will fulfil the immediate needs of CPs when OTS goes live, and the mechanisms that could be put in place to facilitate cross-industry fora to address ‘in-live’ issues and provide a framework to resolve any issues (e.g., along the lines of the fora established for Number Porting).

OTA2 also continue to work bilaterally with CPs, examining the CP’s consumption of OTS, through the CP’s solution architecture, processes and procedures, trials and full roll-out plans, all with the aim of aiding a CP’s successful transition from any existing switching solutions onto the OTS process and platform.

The undertakings in all these areas are challenging, balancing the need for regulatory compliance, delivery viability, customer experience and practical operational functionality, which draws on the extensive experience of the OTA2 team in identifying opportunities and risks for the CP’s to consider.

Likewise, the work of the GPLB-SG (Gaining Provider Lead Business Steering Group – co-chaired by OTA2) and the GPLB-PG (Gaining Provider Lead Business Process Group), which is focused on switching for Business customers, which must also be GPL (Gaining Provider Led), has not reduced in any manner.

With a baseline process already established, alongside technical specifications and an expanding set of supporting documentation (Best Practice Guides, etc) the group continues to focus on ensuring there will be a solid process platform for Business switching available to CP’s, alongside that for OTS.

The scope of Business switching has raised many challenges, as it covers scenarios from the very simplest ‘Sole Trader’ all the way up to the complexities of large corporations with multiple locations and ‘000s of services.

OTA2 continue to lead and support the efforts of Industry in defining, developing and delivering solutions in the challenging environment.

Published Business switching documents, interface specifications, FAQs and more can be found here . The GPLB-SG hope to make an important announcement very shortly regarding support for the technical solution for the business switching process.

Number porting

After the festive break and a challenging period during which Industry re-focused its attention on the news relating to OTS, OTA2 will reinvigorate efforts to develop an OTS Porting (aka Express Porting) solution that will be more consumable for the complex supply chains that exist in Number Porting. The baseline proposal and solution is still viable, however there are a number of areas that the OTA2 wish to explore with CPs, which have the potential to extend interest and support for OTS Porting across a wider base of Voice Service CPs.

The 2024 schedule for NPPCG (Number Porting Process & Commercial Group) and NPESG (Number Porting Executive Steering Group), both chaired by OTA2 have been issued. In a response to CP’s suggestion for less frequent meetings, this year’s schedule has adopted an alternating approach, between NPPCG and NPESG, though this will be reviewed to confirm that it is meeting the needs of Industry. It is planned that the revised approach will free up time for more focused sessions on specific porting challenges.

Service levels

Copper and fibre provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, over the 5-day period ending 16 January 2024 was as follows:

Service Installation type FAD First Available Appointment Date (Backstop SLA = 12 days)
Copper 5.8
FTTC (MI) 6.4
FTTC (SI) 7.3
FTTP (MI) 8.8
SOGEA (MI) 8.0
SOGEA (SI) 6.3


  1. MI and SI are Managed-Install and Self-Install orders
  2. FTTC is Fibre to the cabinet
  3. FTTP is Fibre to the premises
  4. SOGEA is Single Order Generic Ethernet Access
  5. GFAST is Fibre-base Ultrafast Broadband

Copper repair

LLU and WLR ‘on time repair’ performance has seen a upward trend for LLU and WLR, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 85.4% and 82.1% respectively, by week ending 12 January 2024.

*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections

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Signed David Halliday