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Ofcom plans new minimum performance standards for Openreach

Ofcom has announced changes to the minimum performance standards for Openreach, which installs and maintains connections to BT's network. Under draft decisions which Ofcom has notified to the European commission, Openreach will face sanctions from Ofcom if it fails to meet the new targets, which the regulator hopes will improve customer service.

By on May 20, 2014 at 14:00 PM
Ofcom plans new minimum performance standards for Openreach

Those of us who have experienced the frustration of a slow, cancelled or postponed broadband installation will celebrate Ofcom's new minimum standards for Openreach. The proposed changes have been notified to the European Commission, and state that customers waiting for a new line must receive an appointment within 12 working days. That's a lot better than the current lead time of 3 weeks to a month that some customers have been experiencing.

It's not just new broadband customers who could benefit from Ofcom's draft minimum standard plans. Targets are to be put in place for line fault fixes too, with the majority of phone and broadband faults to be repaired within two working days. If Openreach fails to meet the new targets, it will face sanctions from Ofcom that could include fines.

What is Openreach?

Openreach is the company that installs and repairs connections to BT's network. It is primarily responsible for the activation and maintenance of broadband connections in the UK, as most UK broadband providers rely on BT's infrastructure in order to operate, notably excluding Virgin Media, which operates its own separate cable broadband network.

Summary of Ofcom's proposed Openreach performance targets

Taken directly from Ofcom's website:

Openreach must in future...

  • Complete around 80% of fault repairs within one to two working days of being notified
  • Provide an appointment for around 80% of new line installations within 12 working days of being notified
  • Report publicly on its performance, which will allow Ofcom to monitor and intervene further if required
  • Make clear the timeframe in which it is currently completing any remaining jobs, to provide reassurance to consumers about how long the work is likely to take.

You can read more about proposed Openreach minimum standards on the Ofcom website.

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