Following the broadband money

BT Openreach’s Ethernet delivery and repair worsens

with 6 comments

Ethernet repair Ethernet provision

BT Openreach’s delivery and repair of Ethernet connections continues to deteriorate, the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA2) reports.

Br0kenTeleph0ne reported earlier that Openreach had suspended a new Ethernet ordering system, Ethernet Access Direct (EAD), on 15 September after communications providers (CPs) had found it didn’t work. EAD is meant to process orders for sub-1Gbps Ethernet connections.

The OTA2 described this as “a disappointing set-back for the Ethernet community”, adding “Given the strategic importance attached to this key development, and the need to ‘get it right’, the decision by Openreach to ‘suspend’ whilst a fundamental re-assessment is undertaken is a decision which is welcomed by the CP community.”

BT said CPs could still place orders through the legacy system that EAD is meant to replace.

In its April report just out, the OTA2 said, “We are still awaiting sight of the plan for restarting the (EAD) programme and CPs are expressing concern that the time taken to get to a clear set of strategic goals for the system and for Openreach to share their thoughts on how any new model will work.”

OTA2 went on to say, “The Ethernet products are experiencing a deteriorating performance – there are problems with the delays in planning and the CPs are reporting increasing frustration with the responsiveness of Openreach in any direct communication (job controller answer times have increased significantly) and the jeopardy and escalation processes don’t seem to be as efficient as needed.”

Problems with Ethernet ordering may also affect perceptions that Openreach ignores the needs of business customers. OTA2 said that during summer (2012) a number of CPs complained to Ofcom that “Openreach was not addressing the needs of business-focused CPs and their customers, leading to unacceptable levels of service for this group of CPs.”

CPs and Openreach started to review possible improvements for copper-based products (WLR, ISDN, MPF and SMPF). “Good progress has been made against the Q1 objectives and those for Q2 agreed,” OTA2 said. “A suite of Business KPIs has been developed, which have identified some key variances with industry as a whole, which are now being collaboratively analysed for root cause and to develop appropriate service improvements.”

In other news OTA2 reported that there were 9.02 million unbundled lines, 6.15 million WLR lines and 2.15 million numbers using CPS.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2013/05/10 at 06:14

6 Responses

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  1. Can you put this into context? Will this affect pubs wanting to use the new BT Sports service use?

    Philip Virgo

    2013/05/10 at 06:39

    • BT is building a new Ethernet-based Multiservice Edge (MSE) network designed to deliver content faster at the edge. One assumes that BT Vision will be the anchor tenant on the network and so have first call on its facilties, and that delivery of video to pubs will enjoy priority. But that is still some way off – next year, more than likely. We shall have to wait to see if other content providers (perhaps Sky) will have equal priority. Ian Livingston, BT’s CEO made it plain in his BBC interview that giving away TV programs is aimed at retaining and expanding its consumer broadband base. Ofcom’s interpretation of its remit to concentrate on consumers rather than businesses, and Openreach’s reported dissing of business customers’ needs suggests that pub chains may have their work cut out to persuade BT to treat them equitably.


      2013/05/10 at 08:07

      • Is the MSE network which you say is coming next year related to Fibre Multicast which is rolling out now?

        I’m unclear what you mean by ‘priority’ and why Sky should have a different, lower, priority, other than it’s good story against BT.


        2013/05/10 at 10:52

      • Please clarify the ‘priority’ statement for us.


        2013/05/15 at 07:52

  2. Very sadly this is not the only area within the monopolistic culture of Openreach performing in unacceptable ways. E.g. After an emergency cable repair 12 wires were not correctly connected leaving two End Users totally disconnected. It took the hapless end users themselves individually 25 and 28 days to get their dial tones back followed by weeks more problems to repair the repairs to achieve mediocre broadband speeds.

    Similar problems obtaining adequate VDSL services due to long delays, faulty installations by subcontract staff without test equipment, locked modems so the end user can’t observe the line performances, capped speeds which don’t now re-adjust after a repair but require yet another Openreach visit and the arcane procedures end users are obliged to follow all contribute to unacceptable services. Total separation of BT Openreach as a commercial entity might just assist.

    In contrast Virgin Media, possibly because of their more reliable networks with phone lines separate from the co-axial cable modem service, seem to have far less difficulties.

    Merrow Drover

    2013/05/10 at 07:12

  3. […] BT Openreach’s delivery and repair of Ethernet connections continues to deteriorate, the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA2) reports.  […]

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