Telecommunications Adjudicator Censures Openreach Service

BT Openreach misses Right First Time target by 20% – Adjudicator is sceptical of BT assurances.

In announcing that the number of unbundled lines now exceeds 850,000, Peter Black, the Telecommunications Adjudicator, says in his September OTA report that there are a number of BT Openreach Quality of Service Measures causing severe concern. In particular, the Right First Time delivery of Business As Usual (BAU) unbundled lines continues to deviate from planned quality levels (currently 78% against a target of 98%).

“As reported previously this measure has not yet met its planned quality targets. Openreach continue to develop an Improvement Plan that John Small (Openreach MD Service) is confident will address the problems; however, significant improvement has so far failed to materialise. John had targeted September for a significant improvement in Delivery Quality, this however has been missed. I have discussed this matter with Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, and Steve has assured me that a Robust Plan will be presented to the OTA and LLUOs in the near future. Fault Repair quality (Assurance) is also showing a significant and ongoing deterioration in performance.

As I am sceptical of the assurances I have received over many months I have specifically requested a Performance Improvement Paper that will set out all the Improvement & Ongoing Stability Plans that will cover Plan & Build, Backhaul Delivery, BAU Unbundled Loop Delivery, EMP, and Assurance (Repair) Performance. I require a clear Staircase of Improvement Targets, each point on the staircase defined by Time and the Actions to be taken and the Resultant Improvement in Quality to be delivered. I would expect this plan to have a number of stages, but the most significant uplifts in Quality to be delivered in the next three months. OTA will then test the assumptions and plans against the reality of what is happening in the operating LLU world.

Migration problems for customers are becoming increasingly apparent where the losing provider of service is based on LLU. These problems were first raised with BT by OTA and the LLUOs as key challenges that could impede the development of the market 18 months ago; OTA is concerned that unless concerted action is taken swiftly the LLU market will be put at a disadvantage. OTA in conjunction with Ofcom and Openreach will be setting up and coordinating a cross-industry plan involving LLU operators, IPStream Resellers and BT Wholesale to allow inter-product migrations to take place seamlessly. A further area OTA and Ofcom wish to act on is where a new service cannot be provided because there is already a live service on the line that has been left by a previous occupier. The discussions will also take into account the potential role of new regulation proposed by Ofcom to support broadband migrations.”

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