Further porting update

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

25th March 2020

By Simon Woodhead

My colleague Bruce just concluded an industry call (with the OTA) regarding the Openreach porting debacle. This confirmed that Openreach India is indeed closed as we signalled yesterday.

The summary is “we don’t know, but we’re working on plan B“. That was the answer to almost every question, regarding orders in flight, customer end of contracts leading to loss of service, faults etc.

Apparently, BT are working on “plan B” and will publish their intended steps later today. We will need to assess then what the implications are for orders in flight and porting activity generally.

Of course, it is purportedly harder for them than the rest of us due to “security considerations”, further suggesting the absence of Business Continuity planning and perhaps demonstrating again that they’re making this up as they go along. To my mind, onshore staff using company controlled and managed devices are inherently more secure than a BPO the other side of the world. But what do I know!

One glimmer of hope is that automated functions are unaffected. This means orders that have already been validated should continue to complete automatically. The problem here is validation of new orders, and fixing those that go wrong, are both manual operations and are not happening.

There was some conversation around IPEX being able to work from home. Apparently they’re “slightly ahead of the curve with a chunk of people working from home”. They asked if people were ok being in direct communication with IPEX. Bruce asked whether this meant we should send all requests to IPEX as we cannot differentiate which are Openreach and which are IPEX, but this question was not answered. We therefore assume this is as we suggested yesterday: BT resellers and BT will continue porting through IPEX, the rest of us are beholden to whatever “plan B” they cobble together.

We will update further when we know what “plan B” looks like.

Meanwhile, our letter to Ofcom remains unacknowledged.

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