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Ofcom Find Openreach Narrowly Missed Some UK Performance Targets UPDATE

Monday, Mar 18th, 2024 (11:31 am) - Score 1,840
Openreach, Aberdeen…

The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has today concluded its investigation into Openreach’s Quality of Service (i.e. minimum standards for repairs and new line provision) targets, which found that they “failed to meet, by narrow margins,” 3 out of 35 of the QoS standards in the leased lines (Ethernet) and local wholesale broadband markets.

As an operator with Significant Market Power (SMP), the regulator requires Openreach to meet specified QoS performance standards across the leased lines access and wholesale local access markets. But last year the network operator informed Ofcom that it had failed to achieve three of the key targets (here), which the regulator has now confirmed.

At the time, a spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview.co.uk that the problem was “mainly due to the impact of industrial action” (strikes) and they were “sorry to every customer that was impacted by the action, but we’re also confident that it was an isolated issue.”

From April 2022 to March 2023, Openreach:

➤ took a mean time to provide completed orders of 38.4 days, against a target of no more than 38 days;

➤ completed 93.8% of provisions for MPF and GEA-FTTC services on time in London and the South East, against a target of 94%; and

➤ completed 84.2% of repairs for faults subject to Service Management Level 2 on time in Wales and the Midlands, against a target of 85%.

Last year we speculated that the size and nature of the breaches meant, we felt, that Openreach would be unlikely to suffer any harsh punishments and so that has turned out to be the case.

Ofcom’s Statement

As part of our investigation, we have taken into account the narrowness of the breaches, the steps taken by the Openreach to try and comply, and the fact it did not benefit financially from not meeting its obligations. We therefore believe it would not be appropriate or proportionate to impose a fine on this occasion.

Ofcom takes compliance with our quality-of-service standards seriously, and we will continue to closely monitor the performance of Openreach. It is important that providers take compliance with their regulatory responsibilities seriously and act quickly and responsibly when things go wrong to remedy any harm that has been caused.

An Openreach spokesperson said:

“We respect Ofcom’s decision and agree with the reasons given. More generally, we’re proud that our service performance has improved consistently over recent years, to the point where customer satisfaction has never been higher. We’ve invested heavily to support our customers, with our Net Promoter and Trustpilot ratings now at record levels. There are always ways to improve though, and we’re working hard to become even better.”

The full outcome can be found here.

UPDATE 12:25pm

We’ve added a comment from Openreach above.

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Mark-Jackson
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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Comments
1 Response
  1. Avatar photo ISP user says:

    Openreach employ some utter jokers.

    I had a problem on my line after some road resurfacing occurred last year. I alerted my ISP and they sent an OR engineer out.

    He was nice enough. Came in, did a reading from the master socket and ended up doing a bit of rewiring of the master socket to make the master socket be the one in my office, not the hallway.

    Prior to this incident I’d had solid speeds for years. I was dubious this was the solution, but let him do his thing. Are the end, he did a DLM reset and left it at that. Speeds went back to what they were before, no problem.

    Until the DLM noticed the errors on the line, still and impacted the connection.

    Call again to ISP, same engineer comes, does another DLM reset, leaves (at my behest).

    One month later, problems come back. Call ISP, same engineer, this time he’s feeding me some rubbish about DLM cards burning out and that clearly the problem is my aftermarket modem and router… Even though, for years prior, it was not a problem and the kit is approved by Openreach.

    He threatens that if the problem is my kit, I’ll end up having to pay money for them to look into it. This puts me off them doing that. He advised I wait a month or two to see if the DLM corrects the line.

    Two months go by, no change, so I report to my ISP and tell them the lies I was told and ask for a senior engineer.

    They agree, sent a different engineer. He’s goes to the cabinet and notices the line isn’t crimped properly, corrects that and the speeds instantly improved to what they were before and haven’t failed since.

    What the first guy was doing I have no idea but clearly incompetent

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