Tuesday 4 October 2011
Ensuring a level playing field for all
One of the main features of the way we work is equivalence – fair and equal access for all of our customers. But how do we ensure that? Our Business Integrity team has been talking to customers and reviewing the comments in our Customer Satisfaction survey to get a better understanding of the issues related to equivalence. Your feedback is helping us do the right thing in terms of compliance and service. This year we're also conducting a customer engagement programme to get your thoughts and provide you with more information on the current hot topics in equivalence...
In 2010, our team set up calls, LiveMeetings and face-to-face meetings with customers. We spoke to 110 in total, dealing with a lot of perception issues and answering some tough questions. The result was that our customer satisfaction scores for compliance went up. Why? Because we were able to let you know directly why Openreach could be trusted to deliver services equivalently through all the controls we have in place.
We'll be inviting you to a meeting during the 2011-12 financial year so you'll be able to:
- Question the compliance teamJoin one of our 30 minute "Equivalence, Openreach and you" knowledge calls and you'll be able to talk to a member of the team directly. The calls take place every 2-3 weeks and all communications providers (CPs) are welcome to join. If you're interested in joining the next call instead of waiting for us to contact you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Share your experiences of our engineersWhen our engineers visit your end users, they are representing you. So they play a vital role. To help our engineers know what's expected of them, we've produced a "Key messages for engineers" booklet. Download your own copy and let us know what you think.
So what's been on people's minds so far this year? Well, over the last few weeks you've raised the following topics with the team, and we've responded with some information below:
- CSS access
The Undertakings state that Openreach must put access controls in place for 13 key platforms that are at the heart of our operations. CSS is one of those platforms, and BT Retail cannot access CSS for any product which is subject to equivalence, and can't see the details of any other CP's orders. The Equality of Access Board annual report contains further details on this aspect of separation.
- Cable breakdowns or service interruptions
We recover from any cable breakdown or service interruption on a reasonable endeavours basis. This means that whatever can be restored first, must be, regardless of which CP is involved. We don't prioritise any CP's services end users in any recovery. To do so would be a breach of the Undertakings. However, if "blue light" services are affected, these will be given priority where possible.
Featureline is a product that is unique to BT Retail. BT Retail consumes WLR3 from Openreach and then provides additional functionality to create Featureline. Openreach does not provide or support Featureline.
- Resourcing NGA
Openreach is committed to a fibre roll-out plan to support the high speed broadband aspirations of all CPs and is a key player in the Government's target for Broadband Britain. The engineers that operate the growing fibre network are highly skilled and, although they have been selected from the traditional "copper" engineering base, the number of WLR engineers recruited and trained has more than replaced any that have been trained on fibre.
- Appointment books
Our appointment books are open to all CPs on an EOI basis to book provision activities. They are updated live, so when a CP cancels an appointment the time slot instantly becomes available to all CPs.
- Functionality or product change requests
We operate a Statement of Requirements process which is open to all our customers. CPs are requested to share their requests with industry colleagues via the appropriate industry forum group (e.g. the Copper Products Commercial Group for WLR/LLU) prior to submission to Openreach. Details of the process and the various forum groups can be found on the Openreach website.
More information can be found in the equivalence section of the Openreach website but if you have any compliance or equivalence questions or need more information on anything in this article, please email us at: email@example.com