Openreach has declared a Matter Beyond Our Reasonable Control (MBORC)

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.

£5 Off Monthly Bills for BT Landline-only Customers

BT Landline customers get £5 off monthly bills

 

According to a recent report from the BBC, customers who only buy landline services from BT are set to get at least £5 a month taken off their bills under plans set out by the telecoms regulator, Ofcom.

Finally, some good news for consumers. It said those customers, who are often elderly or vulnerable, were not getting value for money.

Ofcom has set out this new plan because it believes some customers, who are often elderly or vulnerable, were not getting value for money.

BT has nearly 80% of the UK landline market, and Ofcom is hoping other providers will also cut prices.

“Unlike other companies, [we] have many customers on special tariffs for socially excluded or vulnerable customers,” BT said.

“Recently, we have frozen the cost of line rental for all of our customers who take a BT phone line.”

Ofcom has the power to set prices for firms that have significant market power.

The regulator’s chief executive, Sharon White, told the BBC:

“We believe there are about two million elderly and vulnerable [BT customers] – strikingly about half are in their late seventies – and for this group of people, their landline is their lifeline.

“It’s a group of people who have seen the cost of their landline bills rise by about a third in recent years, while BT’s costs have fallen by about a quarter.”

BT is not alone in this with the other main industry players increasing line rental prices by between 25% and 49% in real terms between December 2009 and December 2016, while wholesale prices fell by about 26%.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at price comparison website Uswitch, said that the group of consumers affected are:

“The most reliant on voice-only services and least likely to leave BT for a better deal”.

“The demographic tend not to be online, and are the least likely to engage with the market and switch their services, and it is right Ofcom is looking closely at what can be done,” he said.

Andrew Ferguson of broadband comparison website Think Broadband said that while the cost reduction would be welcome for landline-only customers, “a lot hinges on whether those who buy bundles will just end up subsidising those who buy standalone products”.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: BBC