Telecommunications Adjudicator update for March 2024

An update on the principle areas of project activity being led by OTA2 in March 2024.

See the latest charts

At the end of March 2024, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.22 million. There are 2.16 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 0.85 million.  *

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

Passive infrastructure access

Operational performance remains good.

Whereabouts compliance: The working group have developed a set of criteria for measuring Whereabouts compliance and Openreach have developed a set of graduated responses to drive conformance against the contractual requirements. The full outline will be presented at the next commercial group meeting followed by a soft launch of the proposal after that session.

Incident & Planned Works Management: Openreach have shared their implementation plans for the areas of the Openreach operation which require changes to take account of PIA customers use of the DPA assets. There will be some changes to the messages CP receive from the Openreach operation, these changes will be well signposted to the CPs as the plan delivers.

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
  • Whereabouts compliance


Performance remains steady.

The order profile remains consistent with previously reported volumes. Overall order intake is lower on an annualised basis. However, EAD has still grown with other portfolio products dropping back. Order intake is C1400.

Completion rate of c1100 orders per week has continued through March. The workstack continues to remain stable at around 20k.

Areas of interest

EAD2: the development of the product with CP engagement is continuing. The Industry engagement sessions are proving useful to share and critique ideas, with the aim of developing a more consumable product.

Transflex phase 2 – The first phases of the development have started to come live and both the CPs and Openreach are continuing to work on operationalisation of the capability.

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.

Good progress has been made regarding reviewing the KCI2 Assure process and a trial of a new ‘hybrid’ approach has been commenced which it is hoped will improve the number of single visit completions.

Discussions have commenced on an SLG for FTTP cancellations following Openreach delay. This is being run under the 6-month WFTMR process, which puts an end date of mid-July on the negotiations, however these are currently progressing slowly.

A new approach for Business orders on SOGEA and FTTP has been agreed between Openreach and CPs. This will set a minimum order type based on Ordinance Survey site type data. This will be introduced 204/25.

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 non-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. CPs and Openreach developed a set of exemptions regarding which provision orders can proceed, however, the complexity to implement these at any scale is problematic. In view of this the migration of lines with telecare is unlikely to proceed until the full development of the Prove Telecare systems and processes are delivered later in the year.

The Ofcom statement regarding not leaving telecare not working has implications for the planned “On-the-Day" process due to be launched July 2024. The Prove Telecare development has been rescoped to allow for a full reversion of the line, which will now proceed to development.

Openreach has now published its Phase 2 response to the Exchange Exit consultation and briefed industry on its approach to progressing discussions.

Customer switching

TOTSCo have announced a ‘go-live’ date of 12 September 2024 for OTS, which will be the catalyst for all CPs with residential customers to prepare themselves, their systems and processes in readiness for that date. It is planned that there will be a ‘ramp-up’ of testing and ‘live’ trials ahead of the 12 September date, providing industry with the confidence that their solutions are working, and the time to address any issues they may experience - more information can be found at the TOTSCo website.

OTA2 will remain heavily involved with TOTSCo, CPs and Ofcom in helping industry meet the ‘go-live’ date, engaging with CPs and other parties to offer guidance to them as they deploy and test their solutions. This activity will include the ‘decommissioning’ of existing NoT+ switching features and the timelines for that to be enacted, including opportunities for controlled live trials ahead of 12 September.

The GPLB-SG (Gaining Provider Led Business – Steering Group) for business switching, co-chaired by OTA2, maintains its focus on providing business customers and their CPs with a robust switching solution, that will work alongside the changes now in train for OTS and residential consumers. With an existing baseline process and technical design in place, the group, through its process design forum, is now focused on the development of complimentary ‘Best Practice Guides’ (BPGs) to aid CPs in the consumption and use of the Business Switching Process. The plans for the next few months will be to create and publish a number of these BPGs, along similar lines to those already created and published for OTS, but with a dedicated focus on the needs and special circumstances surrounding Business Switching.

The GPLB-SG are also heavily involved in the production of a series of informative ‘webinar’ type events, that will provide and introduction to the Business Switching Process, its principles and operation. Further events are planned that will offer a deeper and more detailed walkthrough of specific parts of the process, all designed to assist CPs in their consumption and development of processes, procedures and system architectures.

A future joint session with the OTS-IPG (Industry Process Group) is planned, through OTA2, to expand on an outline proposal that will address the needs of customers who are switching between providers at the same time that they are transitioning between business and residential contracts - a comparatively small, but significant scenario that both groups are keen to support.

Number porting

Good progress has been made through the forum chaired by OTA2 to progress the OTS Porting requirements into a position that makes them more easily adoptable and supportable by the complex supply chains that have developed within the Number Porting industry. There is a small amount of work still to be completed, which will be centred on recognising the potential impacts of ‘manual porting’ activities (as opposed to the fully automated solutions that dominated the original ‘Express Porting’ proposals) and how these should be reflected in setting and agreeing the SLAs.

The wider Porting groups continue to work through both the ‘day-to-day’ operational challenges of our industry, including the recent market exists of range holders, whilst the longer-term strategic desires (the completion of migrations to ‘All IP’, some form of ‘centralised database’ and ‘direct routing’) continue to be the subject of much debate. It is hoped that once the switching solutions are delivered and ‘bedded-in’ the not inconsiderable effort, resource and funds being dedicated to them and other critical developments, will become available to focus on the strategic future of Number Porting, and the investments required to support this.

Service levels

Copper and fibre provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, over the 5-day period ending 3 April 2024 was as follows:

Service Installation type FAD First Available Appointment Date (Backstop SLA = 12 days)


FTTC (MI) 6.3
FTTC (SI) 7.2
FTTP (MI) 10.4
SOGEA (MI) 8.3
SOGEA (SI) 6.6


  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 an upward trend for LLU and WLR, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 86.6% and 82.5% respectively, by week ending 29 March 2024.

*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections

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Signed David Halliday