Telecommunications Adjudicator update for October 2023

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

See the latest charts

At the end of October 2023, the number of unbundled lines stands at 6.69 million. There are 2.66million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 1.17 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.

Operational performance remains good.

The product continues to mature and as it does a small number of issues are surfacing, these largely are characterised as ‘Learning to Live with Together’. The fact that we have multiple networks resident within the Openreach Duct & Pole estate was always going to produce some new challenges. The Incident Management Framework is one of these areas, together with a challenge of both CPs and Openreach using other CP infrastructure without prior permission, which we are working through at the working group level.

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. Order intake remains high but slightly lower c1500 per week with a slightly over 25% fallout due to cancellation and a completion rate of c1100 orders per week. CPs are raising concerns over the closure of declared delays and some challenges in booking surveys. Openreach are reviewing both areas of concern and will feedback at the EPCG & ESF.

The workstack reduction continues slowly and stands at just over 20k. Fluidity of the workstack has improved slightly but this remains a key area of focus for Openreach c58% non-fluid.

Areas of interest

Order Quality – Front desk order quality and setting standards. This work is proving difficult for a number of the CPs to support. Openreach are reviewing options.

Transflex phase 2 – Information sharing and embedding the use of Transflex into orders. This work is progressing internally with the Openreach design teams, the next stage is to present the outline designs to CPs to ensure that the output meets the expectation.

Survey Tools – getting the most out of customer surveys. Openreach are continuing to look at how they can get the most out of the feedback mechanisms.

Copper and fibre

Openreach has responded to the recent letters from industry on FTTP post-PONR cancellation charges and sought to clarify its cost-based approach, re-emphasising that it considers the charges as reasonable. The new policy was adopted by Openreach on 16 September 2023. However, there remains industry dissatisfaction with both the policy adopted and the approach taken by Openreach to discuss and review the policy in advance of implementation.

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 utilised on complex FTTP provisions with the intent of improving the customer experience, increasing certainty and thereby reducing pre-installation cancellations.

CPs had expressed some concerns regarding late visibility of some commercial and pricing changes. OTA2 have reviewed the matter with senior Openreach personnel and have been assured that there has been no intended change in approach and that wherever possible and practical, such changes will be discussed at CFPCG in advance of notification.

SSRAMS on FTTP has now gone live and Advanced Install will move to an early market deployment in January 2024.

All-IP Steering Group

Openreach deployed the WLR UK Stop Sell on 05 September 2023. The deployment was successful, with some very minor issues resolved by 06 September 2023. A modification of the rule set was implemented to enable CPs to continue to order WLR and/or SMPF outside of the GEA footprint until 28 March 2024 to reflect that SOTAP is not yet widely available.  In addition, the ‘Exceptions’ process remains in place to address circumstances where no equivalent product currently exists on FTTP or SOGEA

Within the Salisbury and Mildenhall trials, Openreach have successfully migrated, ceased or exempted 95% of the WLR assets. Within the 5%, Openreach informed CPs that it would cease those customer lines where it has seen no voice or data traffic in the last 6-months, on 31 October 2023, although a few lines will be ceased early November. The lines have already had service degradation measures applied. Where there has been voice or data traffic in the past 6-months, the service degradation that was applied has been removed and the lines will remain active, however Openreach reserve the right to take further measures against these lines to encourage migration prior to December 2025

Openreach remains committed to providing an official response to industry on the Exchange Exit consultation prior 22 December 2023.   In addition, following CP feedback, Openreach are considering reducing the number of pilot exchanges from 5 to 3.

Customer switching

OTA2, Industry and TOTSCo ( 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. Significant effort has gone into the production of supporting documentation, to complement the OTS process, including guidance for ‘Best Practice’ when using OTS to switch customers.

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: where CPs can find Process documentation, draft interface specifications, FAQs and more.

Number porting

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. Ofcom stated that this should not compromise industry’s ongoing preparations for OTS launch (go-live date of 14 March 2024), however it must happen as quickly as possible thereafter.

Engagement with industry has been expanded with a ‘Call to Action’ session held with members of the NPESG to discuss the challenges of OTS Porting, opportunities for easing consumption and next steps.

NPESG and NPPCG continue to consider what strategic improvements should be made to the Porting process, and what areas require more urgent, tactical, attention to address operational issues.

Service levels

Copper and fibre provision

Openreach FAD (First Available Appointment Date) performance nationally, over the 5-day period ending 30 October 2023 was as follows:

Service Installation type FAD First Available Appointment Date (Backstop SLA = 12 days)
Copper 6.1
FTTC (MI) 6.9
FTTC (SI) 6.9
FTTP (MI) 9.5
SOGEA (MI) 8.2
SOGEA (SI) 7.0


  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 generally steady trend for LLU and WLR, achieving a 4-week rolling average of 85.2% and 82.6% respectively, by week ending 20 October 2023.

*The figures quoted exclude BT downstream connections

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Signed David Halliday