Communications providers who order a variety of services from Openreach will from 15th October be able to request a review of the provisioning date for connections to businesses and perhaps be pushed closer to the front of the install queue.
This situation arises from the delays Openreach has suffered due to weather over the summer and possible we suspect due to lots of staff working to try and keep the superfast broadband roll-out programme moving. The situation is such that many new telephone lines and broadband services are taking five weeks or more to install.
This provisioning short cut is not available for residential services and only applies to businesses where it can be shown that the original installation date would compromise the running of a business, with the example given of a company moving premises and needing phone lines running by a certain date. The procedure will be for the order to be placed as normal and once the date is known for the communications provider to contact to Directors Service Office to make the case for a provision under this first come first served scheme.
Services that were ordered using one of the various expedite options, or already escalated are not eligible, and crucially the offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Openreach offer, which may push the activation cost up in some cases.
Openreach has run into problems before with lack of engineering staff, part of which stems from the groups creation in 2006, add to this the cost of keeping staff on the payroll permanently to cover the times each year when capacity is stretched and the accountants would have a heart attack. There is one thought and that might be that by allowing work to backlog Openreach has a stronger case when negotiating with Ofcom over the costs it can charge for the various services such as a copper line.