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Statement from Openreach regarding Covid 1924/03/2020 12:13

Resolved [13/06/2020 06:34]

Update [31/03/2020 16:27]

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continuous to evolve, Openreach have provided an update sharing key information regarding the status of their operations. The document can be downloaded from

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us accordingly.


Update [30/03/2020 14:04]

In addition to our previous update, BT Wholesale has provided a detailed PDF of their current position, which can be found at

Update [26/03/2020 20:54]

On March 24th we provided a high-level view of the Openreach announcements regarding changes to their service. Today we wanted to provide further detail on what these changes mean to each product and journey. This is still very much an evolving picture, which we will continue to provide updates on over the coming weeks.

Today’s update covers:

How Openreach work will be prioritised.
How Openreach will identify and prioritise vulnerable groups and information changes.
Questions engineers will ask.
Prioritisation of critical national infrastructure.
Product Questions and Answers.

1: Changes being made to how work will be prioritised.

Openreach will use the following priority principles:
Bluelight services
Critical national infrastructure
Welfare customers
Covid-19 at risk
Customers with no service – repair (total loss of service) and provisioning (new line where none exist)
Customers with significantly degraded service
Customers with intermittent service
Other repair and provisioning jobs

2: How Openreach will identify and prioritise vulnerable groups and information changes.

Openreach seeks to work with us to help identify "COVID at risk" in order to prioritise these orders and faults. Please note the Openreach welfare process remains in place and below is a supplementary process to this.

The customer meets the Public Health England criteria for "Covid at Risk’". Eg. Pregnant/Over 70/ under 70 with an underlying medical condition.
The customer has no working telephony service.
The household does not have access to a mobile.

Please confirm these criteria apply where you are raising an urgent expedited request.

If criteria 1, 2 and 3 are met you should ask the customer whether anyone in the household is displaying symptoms.

If the answer is "Yes" add COVIDATRISKS to the Appointment Health and Safety Notes.

Add in notes: People onsite are symptomatic and are isolating due to COVID.

Or provide this information within the ticket when raising faults.

If the answer is “No” add COVIDATRISKSNS to the Appointment Health and Safety Notes.

Add in notes: There is no one onsite displaying any symptoms and or isolating due to COVID. There is currently no expected risk to engineers.

Again provide this information within the ticket when raising faults.

Where a household member is displaying symptoms Openreach will try to provide service up to the property. When safe to do so they will complete the work in the home (this could be on the day if safe or a mutually agreed later date). If they are unable to provide service on the day, we will be advised via the KCI messaging.

3: Changes to other engineering questions.

Where an Openreach engineer is attending a property they will continue to ask if anyone:

- Has anyone in the premises been diagnosed with COVID-19, has been asked to self-isolate, or has been travelling to a coronavirus high-risk area or country in the last 14 days?

- Is anyone in the premises suffering from flu-like symptoms?

If the answer to either of those questions is yes, the engineer will not enter the premises and the job will be reappointed for four weeks later.

If the answer to both questions is no the engineer will enter the premises taking additional precautions (such as asking the end customer to vacate to another room)

Time in the premises will be limited to providing service to the Network Terminating Equipment (NTE) – additional work such as removing bridge taps, NTE shifts, internal wiring/additional cabling, etc. will not be done.

4: Prioritisation of critical national infrastructure.

Critical national infrastructure orders will be prioritised in the following ways:

- Emergency COVID-19 Response
- Enhanced DSO (+) for CNI
- BAU DSO Orders
- BAU Orders

For emergency CNI responses ring fenced support will be available, along with CNI Programme Management and order will be "‘hand held" through. These cases should still be logged via the normal route in addition via email at mailbox.

Update [24/03/2020 12:13]

Openreach provisioning and repair work is being significantly impacted by Covid 19. They have shut their Service Management Center that we communicate with to get updates on faults and orders so we are unable to get the level of information we would normally get. There are also big impacts on engineer visits that are detailed below.

This is a fast changing situation and we will keep you up to date with any further changes. Here is the most up to date statement from Openreach in full.

==== Communication update from Openreach. 24 March 2020 ====

Update on our planning for the Coronavirus outbreak

Last night (Monday 23 March 2020) the UK Government announced strict new curbs on life in
the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus. People now must stay at home except for
shopping for necessities, limited daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from
work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home. These
measures apply to all parts of the UK.

What that means for Openreach

What Openreach does is critical to maintaining the fabric of UK society – connecting people
has never been more important than right now. That’s why many Openreach roles have been
categorised as ‘key worker’ status by the Government. We also want to ensure the safety of
our people and the general public. Our approach, based on the new Government advice, is as

We will now prioritise only the essential work and absolutely minimise work that
requires our engineers to enter end customer premises.

Provision work carried out by Service Delivery and Fibre and Network Delivery will be
limited to:

• Self-install activities (i.e. where there is no engineering visit to the end customer

• Service to vulnerable end customers (in-home and carried out safely, only where

• Those end customers who have no other form of broadband or telephony available - and
we will look to deal with these via escalation channels jointly with the CP to find a
solution that doesn’t require a home visit

• On-premises work for critical national infrastructure customers (NHS, pharmacies, utilities,
emergency services, retail and wholesale food distribution outlets, financial services
businesses and other categories defined by the Government)

Repair work for both volume and business products will continue to be focused on restoring
service with safe working practices, and with revised processes to further reduce social
interaction wherever possible.

With immediate effect:

• Appointment books will be closed for new appointed provision with books moved out
to 1 June 2020

• We will attempt to complete appointed inflight orders outside of the premises

• Non appointed orders will continue to go ahead where no visit is required to go to
the premises (transfers, upgrades to Fibre to the Cabinet)

• Repair books will remain open at this time- we are reviewing non urgent repair

• Engineers will be asked NOT to enter the end customer premises and to
enable/restore service where possible from outside of the premises

• We will ask CPs to help us identify Critical Network Infrastructure and vulnerable
end customer tasks in order to prioritise these

Our priority is to ensure that end customers remain connected at this time. We will be asking
our CPs to work with their end customers to understand alternative means of connectivity and
to limit the movements of end customers between networks, due to the likelihood of an inhome visit being required.

It is our expectation that we will shortly announce national MBORC. This will be subject to
separate communications that will be provided later today.

We will be sharing more detail as it is available, and we will be reaching out to the
operational teams to work this through.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please contact your account team.

Openreach Communications

Current Status