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Why Openreach needs 1,600 more staff to install and repair lines
Tuesday 20 May 2014 09:07:50 by Andrew Ferguson

The results of a consultation on the performance of Openreach that Ofcom started in December 2013 have now been launched and pending final approval from the EU (i.e. to ensure that no EU law is broken) we should see Openreach performing better in terms of the time taken to install a new line and fix faults on existing lines.

The new targets for Openreach will come into effect during Summer 2014, but not initially at the full target, a stepped increase in performance will be expected with the final targets in place for 2016. The new targets are:

  • Appointments for new line installs should be within 12 days of notification. Performance target of 80% for 2016, but may be as low as 54% in 2014.
  • Report publically on performance so that the public, industry and Ofcom can see how close to the figures Openreach are performing.
  • For those installs outside the performance target, make reassure consumers over how long the work will take.
  • Complete 80% of repair work within one to two days of being notified.

The news of 1,600 new engineering staff at Openreach shows the local loop operator is pretty sure that the new rules will be approved by the EU. The last few years has seen several spells of longer than usual fault and install times, often as the result of adverse weather and the lack of slack within Openreach has meant that backlogs build up far too quickly. One observation from consumers posting on our forums is that for fibre based broadband installs all too often the contractor based installs are those which fall below the standard one expects and genuine Openreach installers are left to fix the problems.

The one problem we can see is that the weak link in the chain can be the retail provider who the consumer is dealing with, all too often faults involve two or three days of back and forth with a call centre before Openreach is informed of the fault. For those who think that the 12 days to install a line, or require an even faster fault repair there are already higher levels of service and expedited installations available but it is surprising how many businesses complain of massive loses due to broadband or voice faults but did not pay for the higher service levels.


Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
It took two weeks to switch between FTTC providers (both being BT Wholesale based and no telephony to change). I'm not sure I see this helping there since it shouldn't have needed an engineer to do anything anyway.
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
^ That's my switch from IDNet to PlusNet ^
Posted by trolleybus over 3 years ago
"............but it is surprising how many businesses complain of massive loses due to broadband or voice faults but did not pay for the higher service levels." Right then, tell me which ISPs offer anything more than Standard Care? BT does but who else?
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Posted by pcoventry76 over 3 years ago
Plusnet - 4 hour response (but they try for an hour) and fix in 24 hours. £8 a month
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago

AAISP's RevK just blogged that "BT have admitted that the 7 hour fix option from BT Wholesale apparently does not have any SLA for the engineers working for Openreach to actually try and meet that 7 hours!"

Which presumably affects all BTw-based ISPs, not just AAISP.
Posted by michaelrose1976 over 3 years ago
Plusnets 4 hour response is re-badged enhanced care from BT Wholesale. With this little piece of news consumers should almost get that kind of service without charge as I read it.

A lot of time is spent between customer and ISP because of the extortionate charging levied by BT wholesale with regards to faults that are due to consumer wiring to the ISP has to be 100% before raising as charges might be incurred.

Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago

indeed he does, but he does point out BT has signed a contract where these response times are agreed. Whilst SLA may not say so, he alludes to contract law being in force where BT has agreed to deliver this level of service.
Posted by roblightbody over 3 years ago
The targets for repair times, can't come a moment too soon. It took me over a month to get a fairly simple fault fixed, because each time I called them, it started off another 5 working days delay until they'd have another shot at fixing it. They also need to work evenings and weekends.
Posted by chrysalis over 3 years ago
80% is a very weak figure tho, thats a massive 1/5 they can take liberties with.
Posted by csimon over 3 years ago
I'm currently in the middle of OpenReach hell once again - last time they took 5wks to fix fault, this time so far it's over 1wk without phone & internet & still counting. Phone provider admitted OR have them over a barrel, they can't do anything. There just seems to be delay after delay, I call every day but no info forthcoming.
Posted by cick4internet over 3 years ago
Response and Fix are two totally different things!
Posted by csimon over 3 years ago
18 days and counting. Several promised fix dates missed. Very little info provided, they won't explain to phone provider why they keep delaying and not sending out engineers to tfix the fault.
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