Important Updates - Openreach Stop Sell Plans
Openreach is planning to build full-fibre to the premises (FTTP) to more than 25 million premises by the end of 2026. TalkTalk is fully committed to supporting our Partners with the transition to a full-fibre, all-IP future using Openreach access supplemented with alternative fibre networks.
The exponential growth in full-fibre availability has led Openreach to notify Communication Providers of its intent to begin retiring legacy access technologies and services on an exchange-by-exchange basis. In parallel they are withdrawing their legacy Voice infrastructure which supports their Wholesale Line Rental services (WLR). This will affect the availability of TalkTalk’s Wholesale and Managed Broadband access services at selected exchanges.
There are two types of Stop Sell and Withdrawal that have been announced by Openreach.
1. WLR Stop Sell and Withdrawal
WLR and WLR-based broadband products are to be placed under National Stop Sell in September 2023 and fully withdrawn by December 2025.
2. FTTP Priority Exchange Stop Sell and Withdrawal.
These are exchanges where all copper-based services are put into Stop Sell where FTTP is available at a premise. Stop Sell is triggered when FTTP coverage has reached 75% of premises in the Exchange area.
WLR Stop Sell and Withdrawal
Openreach has announced the Nationwide Stop Sell of WLR and associated broadband products from September 2023 with the intention to End of Life these services by December 2025.
MPF (or MPF-based broadband) is not in scope for WLR national Stop Sell.
Mildenhall is the WLR Stop Sell trial exchange which went into Stop Sell on 4th May 2021. This small-scale trial is intended to test the withdrawal of WLR-based products and a transition to single order products (SOGEA or SOGFAST) or FTTP.
In Mildenhall, where SOGEA or SOGFAST is available, WLR copper lines and traditional copper-based connectivity (ADSL, FTTC, and G.Fast) is not available for new supply. These restrictions 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 are also no longer supported.
The End of Life date for Mildenhall is 31st March 2023. All WLR lines within premises that have SOGEA or SOGFAST availability must be moved to one of these products before then. FTTP is also an option if available.
Openreach has recently clarified their position on MPF lines at Mildenhall. MPF is not impacted by either the WLR Stop Sell or WLR End of Life dates at Mildenhall.
Whilst MPF copper lines and MPF broadband lines are not impacted by the Mildenhall WLR Stop Sell and Withdrawal, Openreach would like MPF CPs to participate in the trial if possible. TalkTalk are reviewing whether we will participate in the trial by withdrawing MPF at Mildenhall and we will make an announcement in the future about this. If TalkTalk do announce an MPF withdrawal at Mildenhall it will not be in the same timescales as the WLR withdrawal i.e., it will not be by 31st March 2023.
National WLR Stop Sell and Withdrawal
Once the National WLR Stop Sell comes into effect in September 2023, the same rules as the Mildenhall trial will apply nationally.
WLR copper lines and traditional copper-based connectivity (ADSL, FTTC, and G.Fast) will not be available for new supply. These restrictions 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 also no longer be supported.
MPF is not restricted by the Mildenhall trial or by the National WLR Stop Sell and Withdrawal. It will still be possible to order MPF copper lines and MPF-based connectivity products irrespective of whether SOGEA is available, including ADSL, FTTC and G.Fast.
Existing WLR-based services that are provisioned before the WLR Stop Sell comes into effect will continue to be supported until December 2025 and must be moved to an alternative product before then. MPF lines and MPF-based broadband products are not impacted by Openreach WLR withdrawal.
FTTP Priority Exchange Stop Sell and Withdrawal
FTTP Priority Stop Sell applies to new orders for copper lines (WLR and MPF) and copper-based connectivity (ADSL, FTTC, SOGEA, G.Fast and SoGFAST) if the applicable premise has availability of FTTP.
Where FTTP is not available, copper lines, as well as copper-based broadband products, can still be ordered as usual.
These restrictions will also apply to moves, adds and changes of existing lines. Migrations between providers 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 by TalkTalk.
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.
The first FTTP exchange to go into Stop Sell was the trial exchange, Salisbury, where the Stop Sell commenced on December 1st 2020. The End of Life date for Salisbury is 31st March 2023.
Openreach is following this initial trial with further Stop Sell activity at various tranches of exchanges which started from 29th June 2021. Openreach is announcing further tranches of Stop Sell exchanges on a quarterly basis.
When will the Stop Sells commence?
The first stage of each FTTP Priority exchange copper withdrawal is for a Stop Sell to be imposed for all NEW provides. This will be followed by a full product withdrawal “End of Life” of all existing lines on impacted products.
The relevant Stop Sell dates for each exchange are below. NB. Openreach have recently amended the Stop Sell dates for some exchanges and have removed some exchanges from their Stop Sell plans altogether.
The End of Life dates for tranche 1a onwards have not yet been announced by Openreach. The conditions that Openreach must meet before withdrawing MPF-based services will be set by Ofcom in the next Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review, which is due to take effect in April 2026. The End of Life dates will be the dates by which all MPF-based services must be moved to FTTP where available. WLR and WLR-based broadband products will already have been withdrawn nationally by this point.
For full details of the Openreach briefing, including a link to the latest impacted exchange list, please click here.
We expect Openreach to announce price rises on MPF-based services to encourage migration to FTTP in due course. It must give at least one year’s notice and meet criteria set by Ofcom.
TalkTalk Wholesale Services is committed to supporting our Partners with the leap to full-fibre
TalkTalk Wholesale Services has launched Managed and Wholesale (Layer 2) FTTP services to both exploit the growing availability of FTTP, and support Partners in transitioning customers impacted by Stop Sells at FTTP Priority exchanges. The service is available via our new FTTP ordering portal and complemented by APIs to support Sales and Provisioning journey automation.
TalkTalk Wholesale Services will support Partners with transitioning their customers to an all-IP future by providing a single line PSTN VoIP solution. Testing of this solution has begun and it will be rolled out in Phases during 2022.
If you would like to be onboarded for Managed or Wholesale (Layer 2) FTTP services, please contact your Account Manager.
TalkTalk Wholesale Services 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 due to stop sell.
The latest version of the Network Product Availability Checker (NPAC v47) includes additional stop sell information related to the exchange. This is available via the TalkTalk Portal or via an API.
Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) is of key importance
With Stop Sell well underway, it is important for Partners to analyse the impact to Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) locations within stop sell exchanges. CNI is a subset of Stop Sell data and should be a focus for Partners to ensure a smooth transition for customers.
TalkTalk Wholesale Services would like to work with our Partners to help you to identify your customer CNI lines and work through the analysis steps with you. We have been analysing our lines and are at a point where we can share more data and insight for those with CNI services that will be affected by Stop Sell.
If you would like to know if our CNI data can help you and your customers, please get in touch with your Account Manager who will be more than happy to share this with you.
We're here to help you with your analysis and next steps of planning
TalkTalk Wholesale Services remain committed to supporting you and your customers, if you have any further queries or would like more information on how we can help with your Stop Sell and CNI analysis requirements, please do not hesitate to contact your Account or Service Manager.