Important update – Openreach stop sell at selected Exchanges

Important update – Openreach stop sell at selected Exchanges

Simon Leather, Head of TTB Product Development

Simon Leather, Head of TTB Product Development

Openreach stop sell at selected Exchanges

Openreach is building full-fibre to the premises (FTTP) to more than 4.5 million premises by the end of March 2021 and more than 20 million in the late 2020’s. TalkTalk is fully committed to supporting our Partners and is in the process of launching a full portfolio of services to support the transition to a full-fibre, all-IP future using Openreach access supplemented with alternative fibre networks. 

The exponential growth in full-fibre availability in combination with the nationwide withdrawal of Wholesale Line Rental services (WLR) has led Openreach to notify Communication Providers of its intent to begin retiring legacy access technologies and services on an exchange-by-exchange basis. This will affect the availability of TalkTalk Business Wholesale and Managed Broadband access services at selected exchanges.

Openreach will trial the stop sell and withdrawal of existing copper-based voice and data services connected to Salisbury (STSALIS) and Mildenhall (EAMIL) exchanges. Services impacted include all those that use WLR and Local Loop Unbundled Metallic Path Facility (MPF) as the underlying copper line for voice and/or data.

Openreach intends to follow this initial trial with further stop sell activity at 117 FTTP Priority exchanges from 29th June 2021 and a second tranche of 51 FTTP exchanges from 5th October 2021.

When will the stop sell commence?

The first stage of this trial site withdrawal is for a stop sell to be imposed for all NEW provides including new orders, moves and changes to existing lines. This will be followed by a full product withdrawal “End of Life” of all existing lines on impacted products. The relevant dates for each trial exchange are:

  • Salisbury exchange (STSALIS)
    • Stop sell date 1st December 2020.
    • End of Life date December 2022.

 

  • Mildenhall exchange (EAMIL)
    • Stop sell date 1st May 2021.
    • End of Life date December 2022.

 

  • Tranche 1 Additional 117 FTTP Exchanges
    • Stop sell date 29th June 2021
    • End of Life date – TBC 2023 or 2024

 

  • Tranche 2 Additional 51 FTTP Exchanges
    • Stop sell date 5th October 2021
    • End of Life date – TBC 2023 or 2024

Salisbury exchange stop sell - FTTP Priority Exchange Trial

Salisbury is an FTTP Priority exchange with FTTP available at over 90% of premises. Once the stop sell comes into effect on 1st December 2020, if a premise has access to FTTP, then copper lines (WLR and MPF) and copper-based connectivity (ADSL, FTTC, SOGEA, G.Fast and SoGFAST) will not be available for new supply. In this instance, only FTTP will be available.

These restrictions will also apply to moves, adds and changes of existing lines. CP to CP migrations and upgrades of existing lines to other copper-based products e.g. ADSL to FTTC upgrades as well as speed changes on FTTC, for example 40 to 80Mbps modify orders, will no longer be supported.

Where FTTP is not available, copper lines as well as copper-based broadband products can still be ordered as usual.

If a premise is enabled for FTTP provisioning after the stop sell is already in effect, then the stop sell restrictions immediately come into effect.

Existing copper-based services that are provisioned before the stop sell comes into effect will continue to be supported until December 2022 and must be moved to an alternative product prior to this date.

Additional Tranches of FTTP Priority exchange stop sells

In addition to the Salisbury trial, Openreach have announced a further two tranches of stop sell activity at 117 and 51 FTTP Priority exchanges respectively. These follow the exact same provisioning rules as the Salisbury trial.

The expected date for stop sell at the first tranche of exchanges is 29th June 2021 followed by tranche 2 on 5th October 2021. The End of Life date for these exchanges has not yet been announced but TalkTalk expect it will not be until 2023 or 2024. We will communicate further information regarding specific End of Life timings once Openreach have announced these dates.

For all stop sell exchanges, consideration to customer contract lengths on copper-based services should be given beyond the End of Life date.

For full details of the Openreach briefing please click here.

For a full list of these exchanges please click here.

TalkTalk Business is committed to supporting our Partners with the leap to full-fibre

TalkTalk Business has launched FTTP Managed Broadband services to support Partners both with the growing availability of FTTP, the Salisbury trial and preparations for future stop sells at FTTP Priority exchanges. The service is available via our new FTTP ordering portal, with over 70 partners signed up to date and will be further enhanced with APIs to support Sales and Provisioning journey automation over the next six months. We will also be making available Wholesale (Layer 2) FTTP services in the New Year.

TalkTalk Business will support Partners with transitioning their customers to an all-IP future by providing a single line PSTN VoIP solution. This will be available in Spring 2021.

If you would like to be onboarded for Managed FTTP services or would like to register your interest for the Wholesale trial, please contact your Account Manager.

Mildenhall exchange stop sell (WLR closure trial)

Mildenhall is the WLR closure trial exchange. This small-scale trial is intended to test the withdrawal of copper-based products and a transition to either FTTP or single order products (SOGEA or SOGFAST).

Mildenhall’s stop sell rules are different to those of the full national WLR stop sell, planned for September 2023, in that MPF copper lines and MPF-based connectivity products have also been included in this stop sell. MPF is not in scope for WLR stop sell for the rest of the UK exchanges.

Once the stop sell comes into effect, where SOGEA or SOGFAST is available, copper lines (WLR or MPF) and traditional copper-based connectivity (ADSL, FTTC, and G.Fast) will not be available for new supply. Only FTTP where available, and SOGEA or SOGFAST will be supported. These restrictions will also apply to moves, adds and changes of existing lines. CP to CP migrations and upgrades of existing lines to other copper-based products e.g. ADSL to FTTC upgrades as well as speed changes on FTTC e.g. 40 to 80Mbps modify orders will no longer be supported.

Where SOGEA or SoGFAST is not yet available, the stop sell of WLR-based connectivity still applies so ordering of new WLR lines and associated ordering of WLR-based connectivity products (IPStream, WBMC, SMPF and FTTC/G.Fast over WLR) will not be possible. It will be still possible to order MPF and MPF-based connectivity products where SOGEA is not available, including ADSL, FTTC and G.Fast.

If a site is enabled for SOGEA after the stop sell is already in effect, then the stop sell restrictions immediately come into effect for that site.

Existing copper-based services that are provisioned before the stop sell comes into effect will continue to be supported until December 2022 and must be moved to an alternative product before then.

TalkTalk Business are currently developing SOGEA products to be used in the Partner channel and will be inviting Partners to participate in trials in spring/summer next calendar year. The TalkTalk single line VoIP solution will be available for Managed Partners to run over the top of SOGEA lines.

TalkTalk Business Availability Checkers

All current TalkTalk Availability Checkers (Portals and APIs) will show the correct product availability on stop sell exchanges and advise where copper-based products are no longer available.

There is also a new version of the Network Product Availability Checker (NPAC v47) launching in December 2020 that will include additional stop sell information related to the exchange.

 

In due course, we will be sending you a series of communications to inform you of the following;

  1. Confirm all product alternatives post stop sell.
  2. Confirm migration paths and proposed timescales post stop sell.
  3. Notify you of the arrangements for vulnerable customers, Critical National Infrastructure and other non-standard migration scenarios.

If you have any questions on this update, please contact your Account Manager.