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Ofcom UK Proposes to Tweak One of Openreach’s QoS Targets

Friday, Jul 14th, 2023 (11:38 am) - Score 3,568
optical fibre exchange openreach

Ofcom has proposed to tweak how it calculates one of Openreach’s regulated Quality of Service (QoS) standards for Ethernet and Dark Fibre repairs, which would replace the current “on-time repair” target with a “mean time to repair” target. The change reflects the fact that the operator’s performance has improved, not worsened.

The regulator currently sets Openreach annual targets for repairs and installations to help ensure a certain level of performance. One target states that, each year, 94% of Ethernet and Dark Fibre faults must be repaired within the time stipulated in its contractual service level agreement (SLA).

Over the years, Openreach has improved their repair process, which has caused a reduction in faults that are easier to fix. But this creates a problem because the issues that remain tend to me more complex and those take longer to resolve, which makes the regulator’s target “increasingly more difficult to meet, even though the customer repair experience overall has improved.”

Specifically, we are proposing that the current QoS standard, which is an ‘on-time repair’ measure, is removed and replaced with a new QoS standard that is based on a mean time to repair (‘MTTR’) measure, with a recalculated target for that new measure based on a revised assessment of appropriate faults for inclusion in the standard reflecting a change in mix in faults since the standard was originally set,” said Ofcom.

The original request was raised by Openreach itself and, at the time, they also proposed to exclude force majeure (or “matters beyond our reasonable control” (MBORC)) events from the standard (i.e. they suggested tracking MBORCs via a separate performance indicator). But Ofcom were “not convinced” and instead suggested that it would be more appropriate to consider such a change during the next market review.

Openreach also requested to exclude customer faults from the proposed new metrics on the basis that these are outside their control. Ofcom agreed that “previous concerns around Openreach misassigning fault causes appear to no longer be warranted, and hence the inclusion of customer faults in the overall standard no longer seems necessary.” But they did propose to continue to monitor the impact of this change, just in case.

The consultation on this is expected to run until 24th August 2023 and the outcome will be confirmed later this year.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    Good thing. I had it on good authority from a former Openreach engineer that if they missed your time to repair target you were then pushed to the bottom of the list and would do other jobs ahead of you so those jobs didn’t fail as well.

    1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      Not in ethernet repair where the cost of extended downtime was too costly for openreach to let any circuits fail their sla , and those that did were restored as soon as practical

    2. Avatar photo charles says:

      I have Ethernet. it’s a 5 hour fix with a month for every hour beyond that – and a month is £470+VAT

      In fact when there is a MSO I am one of the first people they call apparently. Me and a local business about 300 years away always get put back on first. It’s only happened once in 4 years and that was for about 30 mins.

  2. Avatar photo NewToFibre says:

    I thought BTOR didn’t sell Dark Fibre?

    1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      They do but I don’t thinks it’s national

    2. Avatar photo Pip says:

      BTOR doesn’t exist, although part of the BT Group it is run as a totally seperate company.

  3. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    The change reflects the fact that the operator’s performance has improved.

    Sounds about right, let’s move the goal posts.

Comments are closed

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