We have received an update from Openreach in relation to the new lockdown and the changes that are being put in place. We expect to see more communication from Openreach over the next few days.
The UK Prime Minister has announced a new lockdown in England to tackle the rise in Covid-19 cases. A national lockdown in Scotland was also announced, with Wales and Northern Ireland both already under similar lockdown restrictions.
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 6th January 2021, until further notice, are as follows:
For Service Delivery (SD) – Consumer residential
We will remain in Amber status 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 status.
Repair work will also continue as per Amber working status 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 from 6th January, for new orders, the appointment books will be pushed out to the 1st 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, we will reschedule to March and beyond, inflight 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 status working across the UK, with effect from 6th January 2021, with the following provisions:
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 shortly. We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to review our approach on a regular basis.
If you are a new or existing customer and unsure how this update may affect you please get in touch.