Ofcom consultation on proposed changes to quality of service regulation on OpenreachSophie James
Ofcom is seeking comments on its proposed changes to certain regulations that require Openreach to install broadband connections within a set period of time. Openreach has developed a ‘Bulk Grouping provision capability’ in coordination with its wholesale customers that will allow providers to upgrade their standard broadband customers to superfast and ultrafast products in batches.
In order to carry out this process, Openreach will delay completing some jobs until a sufficient number of upgrades have been ordered for a certain cabinet. The lengthier lead time risks Openreach failing standards as set out in the First Available Date (‘FAD’) Quality of Service (‘QoS’) regulations set by Ofcom in its 2018 Quality of Service provisions.
Openreach has informed Ofcom that the benefits of the regulatory waiver would result in lower costs to Communications Providers, a more efficient engineering process, and ultimately a better broadband offer to end customers. Furthermore, Ofcom will monitor Openreach’s service performance during the proposed new process using regular KPIs for orders placed via the new capability.
The Bulk Grouping capability is nearing the end of a month-long trial (start date 28 October 2019), and a full launch is planned subject to the results of the trial. Full details can be found in the ‘Upgrading broadband customers to superfast and ultrafast products’ document on the Ofcom website.
Ofcom welcomes comments on its proposal by 23 December 2019.