05 January 2021
Important: Covid-19 new UK lockdown
Here’s an update on the service position in Openreach, in the light of further government restrictions.
Last night, the UK Prime Minister announced a new lockdown in England to tackle the rise in Covid-19 cases. A national lockdown in Scotland was also announced earlier yesterday, with Wales and Northern Ireland both already in similar lockdown states.
What this means for us in Openreach
The provision of critical national infrastructure is key to keeping the UK connected and for that reason our people are classified as key workers. The Government is clear that, as a result, we can continue to go into homes and businesses to undertake essential work.
As always, the safety of your customers and our engineers remains our number one priority, and our learning from the first national lockdown is that we are exposed to fluctuating resource availability. It is with this in mind that we are taking action, further limiting our engineers’ time in homes and businesses and delaying non-urgent provision work – e.g. some broadband upgrades to ultrafast.
Key changes we are putting in place from tomorrow, 06 January 2021, until further notice, are as follows:
For Service Delivery (SD) – Consumer residential
We will remain in Amber working across the UK, with processes remaining unchanged for most journeys, specifically:
· Provision work for copper and superfast products will continue as per our Amber working
· Repair work will also continue as per Amber working across products – i.e. working in the network and only going into end customer premises where needed on appointed Total Loss of Service
However, we will introduce the following changes for ultrafast products – FTTP, Gfast and SOGfast:
· Starting tomorrow, for new orders, the appointment books will be pushed out to 1 March and beyond. We will work in the coming days to provide an escalation process to CPs in cases where the end customer has no existing broadband service or is receiving a service of less than 30Mbps (to help support home working and schooling)
· In the next few days, for inflight orders, we will reschedule to March and beyond orders where the customer has an existing broadband service with Openreach above 30Mbps. We will work with CPs on the associated detailed process in the coming days
· Unappointed FTTP orders, such as greenfield FTTP provisioning, will be unaffected
For Fibre and Network Delivery (FND) – Ethernet and business connectivity
We will move to Amber working across the UK, with effect from tomorrow (06 January 2021), with the following provisos:
· Where essential businesses remain open (and CPs can give us safe access to the end customer premises), we’ll provide Ethernet service end-to-end, while following safe working practices to complete the work
· Where we can't gain safe building access, or follow our safe working practices, then external build to the curtilage will continue
· We won’t do internal survey and network build work for FTTP brownfield MDUs, however we will continue to progress other FTTP build activities
Our engineers will continue to carry out a personal risk assessment and maintain the current safety guidelines.
We appreciate your understanding of the need to make these changes. We would also like to thank you for your support in enabling us to provide the best possible service in these challenging conditions, whilst really helping us to ensure the time spent in end customer premises is as brief as possible and only when absolutely essential.
We will provide further details on these tomorrow and we will monitor the situation closely and will continue to review our approach on a regular basis. We will also be setting up an industry call next week to update CPs.
In the meantime, if you need any support or advice, please contact your customer service manager.