TalkTalk Business Critical Infrastructure Update

For information and updates please see below links:

Openreach Updates - 15th May 2020

We are writing to notify you on several important updates from Openreach across EAD and Broadband. Please note that we are still awaiting further clarity on some of the information so will continue to keep you updated as we get more detail.
EAD Offer
 
Openreach have informed us that they will be launching a new special offer on EAD 100Mb and 1Gb products, allowing CPs the option to defer service for up to 90 calendar days following a completion of a circuit.
 
The special offer will be available from 9th June 2020 up until 30 June 2020 at 23:59, we may possibly extend the offer if merited by circumstances. Openreach are currently in discussions with Ofcom to request a waiver for this offer so Communication Providers can take advantage of this earlier. Once we have been updated on the outcome of these discussions, we will be back in touch to supply further details. 
 
 
EAD Provisioning
 
Previously Openreach have only completed installations on Critical National Infrastructure sites. However, they have now confirmed that from 14th May 2020 they will progress installations on any sites that engineers can gain access to safely.
 
Openreach will ask a general set of questions, if they contact us to schedule the appointment, you will be sent these questions to answer. For reference, here is the list of potential questions that you or your customer may be asked before the engineer will enter: 
 
• Will the building/floor/work area be empty? If not, how many people? 

• Will our engineers be able to maintain a 2 meter safe working distance at all times? 

• Is anyone on site self-isolating? 

• Does anyone on site have COVID-19 symptoms?

 
Further Questions for Hospitals & Care Homes:
 
• Can you make a green route available for the engineers on site to avoid contact with others? 
• What are your site safety protocols? 

• Do you require visitors to wear PPE? If so, how do the engineers access this PPE? 
 
Can you also confirm if there any further issues likely to impact access on the day, such as:-
 
• Onsite Contact Name & Number:  

• Rack/CAB in place:  Y/N 

• Rack space available: Y/N 

• Power available: Y/N 

• RAMS required (note – Site Specific RAMS will result in the delay of the works start date and charges will be raised): Y/N 

•  Any additional information you think would be helpful to our engineers on the day 


Broadband, FTTC, FTTP & GFast
 
After careful consideration Openreach have agreed a phased approach to returning to working inside end customers’ premises, starting on Monday 18 May 2020.
 
This will be for a short duration provision visit only, where the job is considered low risk and when provision cannot be carried out externally, which remains the first preference.
 
This change also means that FTTP and Gfast provision lead times will return to standard levels, in line with other volume products. The new lead times will be available with effect from Friday 15 May 2020.
 
Openreach have shared important information on the updated process and the safeguards that will be in place to protect engineers and your customers.

You can download this updated process using the link here.

 

This remains a fast-moving situation, we will continue to work with Openreach to understand any future changes and will keep you updated.
 
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact your Account or Service Manager.

Broadband - SMPF & FTTC Over WLR - 13th May 2020

The following gives guidance on TalkTalk Business’ COVID-19 relief measures for small businesses regarding SMPF and FTTC over WLR lines. We have already provided separate guidance on MPF and FTTC over MPF (managed and wholesale).
 
TalkTalk Business is committed to supporting UK businesses during these unprecedented times and will allow Partners to cease and later re-provide the SMPF or FTTC lines of eligible customers meeting the criteria below, without incurring the normally applicable early termination charges, cease fees or reconnection charges.
 
Over the past few weeks, we have been working tirelessly with Openreach to secure and implement the best possible solution for you and your customers, which has unfortunately led to a delay in sharing this offer. We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during this fast-moving situation. 
 
Scope
 
• To qualify, your end customer needs to be a SME, as per the Openreach definition (a Small and Medium Enterprise is defined as a business having fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £45 million). 

• TalkTalk Business may require verification that the end-user meets this definition, for example, are considered eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). 

• This offer is only available for lines that were ordered/placed before 24th March 2020. 

• Only lines ceased between the 24th April 2020 and the end of June 2020 and reconnected before the end of July 2020 are eligible for this process.  Lines not meeting these criteria shall be treated as a “business as usual” cease. 

• You cannot apply this offer to more than 20% of your base, regardless of the number of qualifying SME lines you may have. 

• For any relief regarding WLR fees please contact your WLR provider. WLR lines that are provided by TalkTalk Business are out of scope of this offer. 

• You must, for any lines that qualify, follow the process below to reconnect without charge and recover any early termination fees or cease fees levied at the point of cease. 
• Products that are still out of scope include EoFTTC, EFM and situations where a line is part of an MPLS solution provided by TalkTalk Business. 


What TalkTalk Business can offer for eligible lines
 
• If you chose to cease an SMPF or FTTC Data only line with TalkTalk Business that meets the criteria above, then if the line is reconnected in the specified timescale onto the same product, with the same phone number, then we will credit back any early termination charges, cease fees or reconnection charges on the next applicable bill run. 

• You could, instead, place a cease order against the WLR line. This will cause an unsolicited cease to be placed against the broadband service which will then also terminate the data connection.  If the WLR line is reactivated in the specified timescale with the same phone number and the broadband product reordered, then TTB will automatically credit any termination and reconnection fees associated with the data product. 

• Please note that any fees associated with the WLR termination and reconnection are not the responsibility of TTB and therefore TTB recommend that the Partner discusses any potential relief for these charges with the applicable WLR provider. 

• If you take a Managed broadband solution from TalkTalk Business, where we perform radius authentication and supply IP addressing and IP transit, unfortunately, during this cease process you will lose any Static IPs and the current radius usernames and passwords. This is due to the high level of automation with the TTB provisioning systems. During the reconnection of the data service you will be provided new usernames and passwords and new static IPs if requested. It is the responsibility of the Partner to communicate these new credentials to the end user where necessary. 

• If you take a Layer 2 broadband solution from TalkTalk Business, you will need to decide on your own internal processes regarding static IPs, username and passwords, and communicate to the end users where necessary. 

• It is essential that when re-ordering the broadband, irrespective of whether you are also reprovisioning the WLR line, that you use the same phone number when you re-connect the service. It is the reuse of the same number that will alert TTB to the fact that this was a COVID-19 related cease and re-provide and will trigger the applicable credits against any early termination charges, cease fees or reconnection charges. Please note that it is the WLR providers responsibility to ensure the number is kept free for reuse when re-ordering any WLR line ceased because of COVID-19 relief measures. 

• Please note that unfortunately, TalkTalk Business is unable, due to billing automation, to treat a reconnected line differently to a newly connected line regarding assessing the age of the service for the application of early termination fees.   Hence, any line reconnected shall be subject to a new contract term and, if the line subsequently ceases during this new term, then early termination fees will apply subject to normal contractual agreements. 

 

We want to ensure we're doing our best to support you and your business, so if you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager. 

Support for small and medium businesses - EAD - 28th April 2020

Following our notification earlier this week outlining our approach for implementing the Openreach small and medium business support, we can now provide you with further clarity and guidance on the process for EAD (Wholesale and Managed DIA only). We have produced a downloadable guide, outlining the details of the offer and how you can invoke a COVID-19 “Hibernation” of an EAD connection. This process will be live for our Partners on Tuesday 28th April.

Download - 'How To Guide'

If you require any of the forms mentioned in the 'How To Guide', you can download them using the links below.

1. Temporary Cease - EAD Request Form

2. Temporary Cease - EAD Reconnection Request

3. Temporary Cease - EAD Hard Cease Request Form

This remains a fast moving situation and we are committed to supporting you and your customers during this challenging time. If you have any further questions or queries, please contact your Account Manager.

Support for Small & Medium Businesses - Broadband - 21st April 2020

Further to our notification last week in response to the measures Openreach announced regarding support for small and medium businesses during this challenging period, we are now able to share further detail on our intended approach for Broadband. We are still working through the detail regarding EAD and will update you in the next few days when we have more clarity on this.

Please note that this is potentially subject to change, so please consult your Account Manager before making a commitment.A furthercommunication will sent to you prior to the launch to help provide further clarity and guidance on how to consume this offer.

Broadband (MPF and FTTC over MPF)
  • Initial scope includes MPF and FTTC over MPF (managed and wholesale), but excludes WLR, SMPF and FTTC over WLR, EoFTTC, EFM and situations where a line is part of an MPLS solution provided by TalkTalk Business.
  • To qualify, your end customer needs to be a SME, as per the Openreach definition (a Small and Medium Enterprise is defined as a business having fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £45 million).
  • TalkTalk Business may require verification that the end-user meets this definition, for example, are considered eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
  • You must notify TalkTalk Business of any lines that qualify for a “hibernation” (i.e. that you would like to deactivate and later wish to reactivate) and follow any required steps and processes as laid out in our next communication to invoke this.
  • One solution being explored may require you to suspend the relevant line. If you have set up a Data Redirect URL with us to send suspended data traffic to a “splash page/walled garden” you may want to consider creating a bespoke page to appear to the end customer, should they attempt to access the internet whilst the line is in this state.
  • During “hibernation” the line will have no functionality (as if it were ceased) and thiswill apply to all elements of a line including voice calls (e.g. call divert will not be available for the number).
  • Entry into this “hibernation” process will only be available between the launch date (aim is currently 24th April 2020) and the end of June 2020. More details will follow on this.
  • The customer will be able to keep their number when they re-instate the line. The customer will also keep the same static IP username and password credentials.
  • You must reactivate the line, or request to permanently cease the line, by the end of July 2020.Failure to do so will lead to the line being reactivated (removed from “hibernation”) and recommence being billed.
  • The re-connection of the line may take 5-7 working days.
  • Between the commencement date of “hibernation” and the reactivation date (the “hibernation” period), TalkTalk Business shall not bill any rental charges relating to the line.
  • In the event the line is permanently ceased whilst in this “hibernation” state and so does not reactivate, cease fees and early termination fees will be charged as they stood at the point the “hibernation” was implemented.
  • TalkTalk Business reserves the right to allow for the “hibernation period” when assessing the age of the circuit for Early Termination purposes on any line terminating after it has reactivated.
  • Upon reactivation, billing will resume at the usual rate applicable for that service.
  • You cannot apply this offer to more than 20% of your base, regardless of the number of qualifying SME lines you may have.
Further scope to be defined
As referenced above in the initial scope, we are still working through:
1: What we may be able to offer onWLR, SMPF and FTTC over WLR.
2: What we may be able to offer where a broadband based product has been used in a full business grade solution, for example: EFM, EoFTTC (wholesale or managed) and any ADSL used in a TalkTalk Business MPLS solution.
We will also be working through the approach for EAD over the next few days and we are committed to progressing this and communicating the detail as quickly as possible.
This remains a fast-moving situation and we will continue to review and assess our approachto ensure we’re providing the best support for you and your customers during this difficult time. if you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager.

COVID-19: EAD & EoFTTC Support - 17th April 2020

COVID-19: EAD & EoFTTC Support For Hospitals, Care Homes & Emergency Response Projects

The team across TalkTalk Business continues to ensure that we do the right thing for our Partners and your customers to deliver our service without interruption over this challenging time. We have been working closely with the DCMS to help offer further support for Hospitals, Care Homes and COVID-19 Emergency Response Projects. In order to support this priority category further we will be introducing the following special promotion for our Partners to pass on to customers that meet the qualifying criteria.

 

EAD & EoFTTC New Orders

• Orders that meet the criteria, specifically hospitals, care homes and emergency response projects (note for emergency response projects, we must validate this in advance).
• Qualifying orders that meet the above criteria will receive 6 months free rental before reverting to your standard rental price for this service for the remaining months of the minimum term.
• 3-year contracts only (so no installation charge as standard).
• Initially for qualifying orders placed before end of May 2020, but this may be extended.
• Any costs outside of our control such as excess construction charges will be passed through at cost.
• This free of charge period applies to the fixed rental element only, distance charges where applicable, will still be billed as normal.
• The discount will be applied as a billing credit.

 

Soft Upgrades

• For qualifying existing circuits (i.e. specifically hospitals, care homes and those being used in emergency response projects), we can increase service bandwidths the next increment free of charge (rental and one-off charges removed) for a 3-month period. By way of example:
• On 100Mbps bearers: 10Mbps to 20Mbps, 20Mbps to 30Mbps, 30 to 40Mbps, 40 to 50Mbps or 50Mbps to 100Mbps.
• On 1G Bearers: 100Mbps to 200Mbps, 200Mbps to 300Mbps and where available 300 to 500Mbps and 500Mbps to 1Gbps.
• If more bandwidth is required, please contact your Account Manager and we will try to accommodate your request where possible.
• This is applicable for existing circuits where we can support without a cease and re-provide.
• Available until the end of May 2020 but may be extended.
• For operational reasons, we can only look at new requests, not revisit any previously agreed.
• At the end of 3 months we will be in contact and the circuit can either move to BAU pricing to reflect the upgraded bandwidth or we can revert to the original state without any additional charge.

 

High Level Escalation Support for National Infrastructure Customers

As previously communicated, we understand that over this period your priority customers such as the NHS and emergency services may require faster than usual delivery times, we will continue to do all we can to support these escalation requests. You can find details of the process here.

This remains a fast-moving situation and we will continue to review our approach to ensure we’re providing the best support for you and your customers and we will keep you updated. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager.

Support for Small and Medium Businesses - 15th April 2020

The team across TalkTalk Business continues to ensure that we do the right thing for our Partners and your customers to deliver our service without interruption. We have over the last few weeks been working relentlessly with DCMS, Ofcom and directly with Openreach on your behalf regarding the assistance through the COVID-19 crisis. We have now found a solution to protect a proportion of seriously distressed small and medium businesses* during this difficult period.

We will be working through the operational detail over the next few days, but we are committed to progressing quickly so that we can communicate the process by the end of this week. I have outlined below the top-level detail:

Business Broadband & Voice

To help UK SMEs who want to stop their voice or broadband service temporarily, we can use the existing cease process. For any line ceased since the COVID-19 lockdown to the end of June 2020 the line can be restarted free of charge up to the end of September 2020. This will apply with immediate effect to WLR, SMPF, MPF, FTTC and FTTP.

Existing WLR Multiline, ISDN2 and ISDN30 services

To help UK SMEs who want to stop these services we will support a temporary stop of service for a period of up to 3 months free of charge.

EAD orders that are in the course of being provisioned

We have stopped with immediate effect the auto-cancellation of Ethernet orders which have been suspended for more than 90 calendar days.

Existing EAD services

To help SMEs who want to stop their EAD service temporarily Openreach will allow EAD services to cease with the option to reconnect within 3 months (of the temporary cease) at a significantly reduced charge of £150 (for example the normal connection charge for EAD 1000 Local Access is £1,848).

From the analysis we have conducted across our own SME base we have seen a small percentage of both Broadband and Ethernet lines drop to zero usage since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. If these businesses want to move into a hibernation state, with a clear view of being reactivated again once the lockdown restrictions are lifted, we want to work with you to support this.Clearly, we are all affected financially in this current situation, but this solution helps provide support for customers and a way that these businesses can have a quick start once restrictions are lifted.

Hopefully you will understand the complexity we need to work through to make this a workable solution for everyone and we will be in touch in the next few days with a further update. My team remains committed to supporting you and your customers in every way we can during this difficult time.

Yours Sincerely,

Jonathan Kini
Managing Director, TalkTalk Business

*Openreach definition of SME: less than 250 employees and turnover of less than £45m

Openreach Update on Managing Delays on EAD - 15th April 2020

Following on from our previous notifications regarding the updated Openreach processes, we now have further clarity on managing delays. We previously communicated to you the 5 levels of priority that Openreach have created as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have now received confirmation of CP delay treatment for Levels 3 and 5. Level 3 = Non CV-19 Critical national infrastructure & Level 5 = All other orders. (Levels 4, 2 & 1 – Are escalated orders therefore we assume no CP delays should be applied)

All orders that have CP Delay applied to them, will be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after 90 working days. To postpone the auto cancellation countdown, orders will need to be suspended. This will mean that Openreach will not continue to work on these orders, so we would prefer to resolve the CP Delay to keep the order progressing towards completion as much as possible.

The treatment of CP delay by Level is described below. We have also updated our FAQs with answers to scenarios further to the new rules set out by Openreach.

Level 3 – CNI Order

Order in CP delay (all categories except access)
• To be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after
90 working days – To stop auto cancel, you would need to apply a suspend.


Order complete to curtilage (access refused by customer for non COVID related issues)
• To be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after 90 working days – To stop auto cancel, you would need to apply a suspend.

Order complete to curtilage (access declined by Openreach or customer for COVID related issues (risk assessment failure))
• MBORC delay applied – Openreach delay and no auto cancel. Will remain in delay until safe access available/agreed


New order – Internal survey required (access refused by customer for non COVID related issues)
• To be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after 90 working days – To stop auto cancel, you would need to apply a suspend.

New order – Internal survey required (access declined by Openreach or customer for COVID related issues (risk assessment failure))
• MBORC delay applied – Openreach delay and no auto cancel. Will remain in delay until safe access available/agreed

 

Level 5 – Non CNI Order – Ordered BEFORE 24.03.2020

Order in CP delay (all categories except access)
• To be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after 90 working days – To stop auto cancel, you would need to apply a suspend.

Order complete to curtilage (No access will be requested)
• MBORC delay applied – Openreach delay and no auto cancel. Will remain in delay until safe access available/agreed

New order (Internal survey required)
• MBORC delay applied – Openreach delay and no auto cancel. Will remain in delay until safe access available/agreed


Level 5 – Non CNI Order – Ordered AFTER 24.03.2020

Order in CP delay (all categories except access)
• To be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after 90 working days – To stop auto cancel, you would need to apply a suspend.

Order complete to curtilage (No access will be requested)
• CP Delay will be applied once Openreach can not complete anymore work. This will be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after 90 working days – To stop auto cancel, you would need to apply a suspend.


New order (Internal survey required)

• CP Delay will be applied once Openreach cannot complete anymore work. This will be managed BAU, normal deemed consent rules apply, notifications and cancellation after 90 working days – To stop auto cancel, you would need to apply a suspend.

 

Customer Service Contact update

We previously communicated to you updated Openreach escalation process for Category 1 Key Workers only. Openreach have now extended this to ALL key workers, the current list from the government website is anyone that works in the following sectors: Health and social care, Education and childcare, Key public services, Local and national government, Food and other necessary goods, Public safety and national security, Transport and Utilities, communication and financial services. This list is correct as of 9th April, if you want to check if this has been updated, then please check the Government website here.

For reference, the latest update from Openreach on their escalation process can be found here.

Openreach have advised, that they have added an additional question to the list of questions that engineers will now ask before entering a customer’s premises. All engineers will now ask 3 questions. They have taken the latest Public Health England (PHE) guidance and added a question
as below
1. Have you or anyone else living here been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been asked to self-isolate?
2. Do you or anyone else here have flu-like symptoms?
3. Have you or anyone else living here received a letter from the NHS to confirm that you are classified as an extremely vulnerable person and should stay inside (known as shielding) for 12 weeks?

If the answer to the third question is yes, the engineer will send the job to the Openreach case management team to liaise with PHE to explore options. Once Openreach have received an update from the PHE with options, they will confirm back.

 

Openreach Customer Services update at the opening of business 15 April 2020

This briefing is to update CPs on the impacts to Openreach desk-based operations due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak

We wanted to update you on the position with our desk based customer service operation in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 impacts. 

 

Customer Service Contact update
We are pleased to advise you that at 1300hrs, today 15 April 2020, we will be re-opening our provision chat channels across WLR / LLU / FTTC / SOGEA / GFAST / SOGFAST / Premium Business Helpdesk

Details below:

• Contact will be open on a chat only basis across our volume products
• During this time we will be revising our opening hours and these are in the table below
• We will do our best to ensure delays are minimised
• To help us please restrict your contacts to essential cases only to ensure we can be available to answer as many contacts as possible


Self-serve reminder
Whilst some of our repair and provision channels remain closed we would like to remind you that the normal self-help options of View My Job (VMJ) / ORDER TRACKER / FAULT TRACKER / HUD are
available to provide you and your customers with the latest update on Openreach’s progress to provide or restore service.


The table below details the current status of our contact channels.

 

View Openreach Critical Functions

Openreach Coronavirus Update – 2nd April 2020

Following our update on 31st March detailing the updated Openreach processes (please see below), we now have further clarity and additional information on new orders and repair/fault orders. As this is a fast-moving situation, we’ll continue to work with Openreach to understand any future changes and will keep you updated.

Provision orders

When raising an order with TalkTalk Business via the order ‘Wizard’ tool, if your customer is classed as ‘At Risk’ you need to enter this information within the ‘Appointment Health and Safety Notes’ field. Please note if this detail isn’t entered into this field, the information will not reach Openreach.

To clarify the information needed is as follows –

•            Customer meets criteria and IS symptomatic, you need to enter (making sure you enter the space) - COVID ATRISKS

•            Customer meets criteria and IS NOT symptomatic, you need to enter (making sure you enter the space) - COVID ATRISKNS

Faults

When raising a fault into the team, you will need to enter the above information if the customer is classed as ‘At Risk’, within the hazard notes field. To clarify you will need to enter either COVID ATRISKS or COVID ATRISKNS dependant on if they have symptoms or not.

If during diagnostic checks the TAM test picks up a hard fault as indicated by the MFL (Main Fault Location) such as EX or LN and the customer is classed as ‘At Risk’, please call the assurance desk once you have raised a ticket so that we can ensure Openreach are aware this is a priority fault.

Updated Openreach Escalation Process

For reference, the latest update from Openreach on their escalation process can be found here.

Openreach have introduced an updated version of their escalation policy purely for Category One key workers that are working from home.

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment. Please be aware this should only be used in urgent situations with key workers who are working from home, we need to make sure those most in need are given priority.

Provision orders

When raising a ticket into the team, you need to include ‘Category 1 Health & Social Care’ within the first line of the ticket, once raise, please call into the team on 0845 330 6725 quoting your ticket reference and the team will pick this up as a priority for you.

Faults

When raising a ticket into the team, you need to include ‘Category 1 Health & Social Care’ within the general notes field.

If during diagnostic checks the TAM test picks up a hard fault as indicated by the MFL (Main Fault Location) such as EX or LN and the customer is classed as ‘At Risk’, please call the assurance desk once you have raised a ticket so that we can ensure Openreach are aware this is a priority fault.

You can find more detail in the following FAQ, if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your Account or Service Manager.

Previous information and updates regarding COVID-19:

Openreach Coronavirus Update – 31st March 2020

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

 

View the Openreach Update - Download here

As this is a fast-moving situation, we’ll continue to work with Openreach to understand any future changes and we will keep you updated further.  In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidance we shared in our update on 26th March, identifying Openreach’s measures for prioritisation of vulnerable and at-risk customers.

 

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your Account or Service Manager.

Openreach Coronavirus Update - 26th March 2020

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continuous to evolve, Openreach have announced further changes and measures to their practices.

These changes will be as follows:

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

 

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

Openreach will use the following priority principles:

  1. Bluelight services
  2. Critical national infrastructure
  3. Welfare customers
  4. Covid-19 at risk
  5. Customers with no service – repair (total loss of service) and provisioning (new line where none exist)
  6. Customers with significantly degraded service
  7. Customers with intermittent service
  8. Other repair and provisioning jobs

 

2: How Openreach will identify and prioritise vulnerable groups and information changes. Openreach seeks to work with CPs 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.

Criteria:

1. The customer meets the Public Health England criteria for ‘Covid at Risk’. Eg. Pregnant/Over 70/ under 70 with an underlying medical condition.

2. The customer has no working telephony service.

3. 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:

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

2. 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:

1. Emergency COVID-19 Response

2. Enhanced DSO (+) for CNI

3. BAU DSO Orders

4. BAU Orders

Help Us To Help Where It Is Most Needed – 23rd March 2020

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves, we wanted to update you on our service delivery at TalkTalk Business.

Across the country we continue to see the increasing impact and it remains a fast moving situation.  Our business continuity plans are operating well, but it is possible that with the evolving circumstances we may have a reduced number of colleagues available to support our activities over the weeks and months ahead. We are prepared for this, but it is something to be aware of.

We have assessed our key volume processes and want to ensure that all our customers stay connected and we continue to protect our most vital services during this critical time.  These include Critical National Infrastructure work, blue-light support and vulnerable end-user related activity.

To help us achieve this, we request that where possible, you and your colleagues self-serve through our portals, APIs and other online platforms to enable us to keep our telephony lines available for priority cases.

Please refer to the summary table below for guidance on how to access our alternative contact channels. 

We thank you for your continued understanding and we will continue to keep you updated.

Important Critical National Infrastructure Update - Coronavirus (COVID-19) – 17th March 2020

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a fast-moving situation, we wanted to provide a further update on how TalkTalk Business is responding to these changes. 

 

As a connectivity provider, TalkTalk is categorised as delivering ‘Critical National Infrastructure’.  For this reason, our operations will continue to be fully functioning in order to service the homes and businesses of Britain.   

As a provider of a critical service it is paramount that we can keep people connected. We have reviewed our network and as we regularly experience peaks in demand we are confident that we have robust measures to monitor network usage and capacity and to withstand any increases in volume so that we can continue to service our 4.2 million homes and thousands of B2B customers up and down the country.

In these unprecedented times we would like to ask for your support in the coming weeks.  If your colleagues can raise requests through our APIs or portals, we would ask that you do so.  This will help our lines remain available to support emergency activity and priority support where it is most needed.  It would also be appreciated if Director of Service Office (DSO) requests and High Level Escalations are prioritised by Partners to focus on Critical National Infrastructure support and vulnerable end users.

In our previous update we advised how Openreach were altering their approach to engineering appointments and the circumstances when appointments would not proceed (excludes EAD). Your support would be appreciated if appointments can be proactively managed and rescheduled where anyone in the premises has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been asked to self-isolate.  This will save disappointment and inconvenience.  

Please also be aware that a proactive four-week reappointment lead time is being issued if the visit needs to be delayed (although this can be reduced if required where the site is accessible, and isolation no longer applies).

Thanks for your understanding and we will continue to keep you updated.

Business Update - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 13th March 2020

In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we wanted to update you on how TalkTalk Business is responding to the situation. 

 

We have already aligned our activities to the UK Government Guideline on COVID – 19 (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public#advice-for-travellers ) including recommendations for self-isolation. 

 

Communications to staff on hygiene has been increased to help prevent the spread of the virus in line with UK Government recommendations. This includes increasing awareness through online communication and visual aids throughout our offices.

 

Business Continuity plans are in place, and our flexible working policies mean there should be minimal disruption to the business, but we will continue to monitor the situation.

 

An internal working group has been established across the business to monitor and respond to the ongoing situation. This ensures that we are aware of the impact to the business and can respond quickly should the situation develop.

 

We are also working with our key partners and suppliers to understand the status of their Business Continuity planning and will assess this against our critical business processes. 

 

We will be implementing a proactive change freeze from today for the next two weeks to ensure that your service remains stable and connected at a time when service stability is critical. We will assess the situation again in 2 weeks and will update you if this is extended further. Over this period any emergency change will be reviewed through an exceptions process.  

Openreach have also made us aware of some changes to their working practices. These changes are detailed below so you can manage your customers’ expectations accordingly. Please be aware these may continue to change in the coming weeks and we will keep you updated further.

Support for small and medium businesses - EAD - 28th April 2020

Following our notification earlier this week outlining our approach for implementing the Openreach small and medium business support, we can now provide you with further clarityand guidance on the process for EAD (Wholesale and Managed DIA only). We have produced a downloadable guide, outlining the details of the offer and how you can invoke a COVID-19 “Hibernation” of an EAD connection. This process will be live for our Partners on Tuesday 28th April.

Download - 'How To Guide'

If you require any of the forms mentioned in the 'How To Guide', you can download them using the links below.

1. Temporary Cease - EAD Request Form

2. Temporary Cease - EAD Reconnection Request

3. Temporary Cease - EAD Hard Cease Request Form

This remains a fast moving situation and we are committed to supporting you and your customers during this challenging time. If you have any further questions or queries, please contact your Account Manager.

TalkTalk Business Prioritisation Measures

TalkTalk Business Prioritisation Measures

We request that where possible, you and your colleagues self-serve through our portals, APIs and other online platforms to enable us to keep our telephony lines available for priority cases. Please refer to the summary table for guidance on how to access our alternative contact channels.

Download PDF Here

Did you know financial support from the Government is available?

The Government has announced a series of measures to help businesses during these challenging times. To find out more about available business support, click here

Remote working advice for businesses

For suggestions and advice that could help your staff make the most of their home connectivity, as well as other tips and FAQs around remote working, click here