Improving the rollout of Ethernet

Improving the rollout of Ethernet

Dan Richardson, Chief Operating Officer

Dan Richardson, Chief Operating Officer

In today’s global, fast-paced, and competitive economy, it is more important than ever for businesses to have a fast, high-capacity and reliable internet connection that helps them deliver their products and services to consumers more efficiently. To help meet these expectations, UK businesses have increasingly been opting for Ethernet, as it offers the highest performance connectivity option available. Over the past few months we’ve seen demand for Ethernet increase rapidly, and at TalkTalk Business we’re now processing almost 200 installs per week – up from 100 the same time last year. This means that TalkTalk Business is the first company outside of BT, which owns Openreach, to achieve this.

Given all of its benefits, this demand has placed a strain on Openreach, the country’s sole owner of the UK’s pipes and telephone cables that connect nearly all businesses and homes in the country to broadband and telephone networks. This has resulted in a backlog of orders and longer provisioning times which we have been keen to address.

The challenge is for Openreach to keep pace with our growth and deliver the network faster. Often, the delivery of these circuits requires the digging of roads and heavy civil engineering that ultimately takes time, and can mean that business customers can be left waiting for what they need.

Here at TalkTalk Business, we are passionate about helping our customers reap all of the benefits of Ethernet, and so we’ve been examining the entire Ethernet provisioning journey to see how we can improve it. We’ve made great progress with this. In the last 12 months we’ve decreased the Ethernet provisioning steps that lie with us by a third and TalkTalk’s Mean Time to Provide (MTTP), or speed of Ethernet installs, is currently 11 days quicker than the industry average.

But of course, this isn’t enough and we are committing a lot of resource to further reduce Ethernet provisioning times for ourselves and the industry. This includes looking at how technology can help us deploy infrastructure faster, transforming how services are implemented.

However, ultimately the majority of the provisioning process is in Openreach’s hands. So we have been exploring how we can work with Openreach to collaboratively improve the back end processes that will help it deliver a great service for all customers. As a result, we’ve built a special relationship with Openreach, which has allowed us to make some fundamental changes to the way we work together, and we hope that these benefits will not only be delivered to TalkTalk Business’ Partners and customers, but to the industry as a whole. We want to use our expertise as the easiest Ethernet provider to do business with to help deliver a superfast Britain for all.

We now have a ring-fenced team to communicate directly with Openreach and customers, and we hold daily calls with Openreach to ensure that our customers and any issues are being prioritised. This has put us in a unique position that allows us to cut back the admin as much as possible to streamline the process, and through greater communication with Openreach we are able to keep customers regularly updated on progress at all stages.

By taking the driver’s seat and working in cooperation with Openreach, we’re transforming the ease of installation for Ethernet at TalkTalk, and Openreach are taking the learnings from this and rolling out across the industry for the benefit of all. Our unique relationship with Openreach, as well as daily communications with them, puts us in the best position to transform Ethernet provisioning across Britain.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing our insights into how TalkTalk Business has worked together with Openreach to improve the speed of Ethernet provisioning, how we’ve managed to clear the backlog, and what new processes have been put in place to ensure that TalkTalk is the easiest provider to do businesses with – helping to place Britain’s businesses in the fast lane.

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