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Openreach Hit by More Ethernet Delays Due to Chip Shortages UPDATE

Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 (1:20 pm) - Score 4,344
Openreach 2022 Engineer Testing Fibre Lines

Openreach (BT) has warned of further provisioning delays for UK customers taking their high-capacity data services, specifically their Ethernet Backhaul Direct (EBD) products, which is occurring after the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips (here) hit their supply of kit from Ciena.

For those who don’t know, EBD is a capacity solution for securely moving large volumes of data between Openreach nodes, which are usually aligned to parent handover exchanges for Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP products.

NOTE: The latest delays have not impacted Ethernet Access Direct (EAD) products, which don’t use Ciena’s kit.

The chip shortage has already impacted some of Openreach’s other Ethernet services (example), but this has recently begun to disrupt EBD provisions too. As a result, Openreach has applied the status of Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control (MBORC) to related products, which means they can’t meet their normal service level guarantees / SLAs and this helps to protect them from the usual – often costly – repercussions of such delays.

Last week Openreach informed UK ISPs that they had been working with Ciena, for the past few months, to reduce the impact of the aforementioned delays, which has helped a bit. But sadly, the reduction of component supply has continued to impact their contractual service levels (delays) and so they’ve had to take action.

The question now is over how long it will take before the situation returns to something approaching normal, which appears to be unclear. Such delays tend to have knock-on impacts for other products and services further down the chain. Last year we reported that some chip shortages were likely to persist through much of 2022, but such predictions do vary between different products and services.

We did ask Openreach to comment on this toward the end of last week, and we’re still awaiting their response (hopefully later today).

UPDATE 4:30pm

The comment has arrived.

An Openreach Spokesperson said:

“The ongoing global shortage in the supply of semi-conductor chips has meant we are experiencing some equipment delays on certain orders for our Ethernet Backhaul Direct (EBD) product – which has meant slightly longer wait times for around a third of specific orders we have in the pipeline.

We’re working closely with those few customers effected and we continue to monitor the wider situation while working with our supplier to resolve this as early as possible. We’re starting to see some improvement in wait times so don’t expect this to be a prolonged situation.”

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Matthew says:

    The same openreach that can’t get across the road to install hear too

    1. Framer George says:

      Hi Matthew,
      I guess you mean “install here”
      Maybe English isn’t your first language.

  2. Jordan says:

    Getting FTTP installed on the 17th cant wait, already got fibre outside on the wall but waiting for the ONT to be installed hehehe:)

  3. Billy says:

    The Openreach spokesperson needs to learn the difference between affected and effected.

  4. Nick says:

    Sounds like they’ve found a new excuse for not delivering.

    Sorry sir, the chips are down.

    As usual, there’s too many publicists and not enough engineers, looking down the cable ducts.

    The copper that visits our house is older than Dixon of Dock Green.

    We are also cabled to Virgin, but not connected. Why? Because I took them to an adjudicator, and won my case – they seem to have gone into a sulk and refused to connect me. I can’t think of any other explanation, because they are a vibrant world class communication leader, so surely Office A (which conceded that Virgin owed me money) could talk to Office B, which could change the status of my account, and then email. Office C which could flick a switch and connect them. All the information is there. They could talk, in a simple email, quick establish that am a reputable person owhom they have inflicted horrible wrongdoings. (According to the adjudicator)

    Not that I’d want to give Virgin Media my business. The BT staff are, by comparison, lovely to speak to and they sound like they want to help. (Apart from one horrible call centre warrior) So I want to give BT my money. I desperately want to to give them my cash!!! But sadly there’s no `green cabinet’, in my vicinity. Because of Covid. Or chips. or Brexit.

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