BT Openreach – the organisation that maintains the UK PSTN & ISDN infrastructure which supports traditional (non-IP) based telephone lines, along with ADSL and fibre broadband connections – announced on Tuesday that it had closed its overseas call centre due to a lockdown in India. This has now restricted all orders and faults to key critical services until at least 1 June.
In addition, Openreach has declared a Matter Beyond Our Reasonable Control (MBORC) on ALL products, effective 24 March 2020 at 23:59. The declaration of MBORC means Openreach may not be able to meet its normal Service Level Agreements (SLAs) / Guarantees and removes the recourse normally available to suppliers when these are not met. This also unavoidably impacts all communication providers, including Chicane Internet, in ensuring services are provisioned and repaired within the normal guaranteed timescales.
The news means that no new business orders will be looked at until this time, including PSTN (single analogue telephone lines); ADSL, FTTC and FTTP broadband services; and fibre Ethernet where any visit to site is required. In some cases, a self-installation option may be available (for example, on broadband services being added to an existing telephone line), but even these could be impacted if Openreach subsequently deems a site visit may be required.
Openreach will now prioritise only essential work and absolutely minimise work that requires its engineers to enter end customer homes or business premises.
Provision work (new services) will be limited to:
- Self-Install activities (i.e. where there is no engineer visit to the customer premises, this is normally limited to the addition of broadband services to an existing line)
- On-premise work for Critical Network Infrastructure customers (NHS, pharmacies, utilities, emergency services, retail and wholesale food distribution outlets, financial services business and other categori
- es defined by the government)
- Services to vulnerable customers (in-home and carried out safely only where essential)
- Customers that have no other form of broadband or telephony available
Repair work will focus on restoring service with safe working practices with revised processes to further reduce social interaction wherever possible.
With immediate effect
- New installation/provide orders will be closed until the 1 June.
- In-progress appointed (where an installation date has been confirmed) orders will be attempted to completed outside of the customer premises
- Non-appointed orders will continue to go ahead where no visit is required to the premises (for example, upgrades to fibre-to-the-cabinet)
- Repairs can still be reported but non-urgent repairs may be reviewed
- Engineers will be asked NOT to enter customer premises and to enable/restore service where possible from outside of the premise
- Chicane Internet will work with Openreach to identify Critical Network Infrastructure and vulnerable/Covid “at Risk” customers in order to prioritise these
Please be aware that our engineers are also following BT Openreach guidelines and are prioritising the critical jobs while suspending the day-to-day site visits.
Our priority is to ensure that you remain connected at this time and we will work with you, where applicable, to identify where alternative means of connectivity is available.
ADSL broadband and Fibre-to-the Cabinet (FTTC) services
Products which may be impacted as a result of the above announcement include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Analogue single lines (often referred to as PSTNs) & multi-analogue lines
- ISDN2 and ISDN30 services.
- Generic Ethernet Access (GEA) services including G-Fast, Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)
- Fibre Ethernet
- Any new business orders which may utilise Openreach or Chicane Internet engineering resource
In addition to the above, the Openreach Number Portability helpdesk has been closed. This will impact any orders where number porting is required, for example, from fixed-line services to an all-IP solution.
As the situation is changing daily, we aim to provide more detail as we have it, including answers to the questions you’ll no doubt have after reading this.
As soon as we have more relevant information from our carrier partners, we’ll share that with you.