Openreach Coronavirus Update

Openreach Coronavirus Update

Support for Small & Medium Businesses - 15th April 2020

Firstly, my thoughts are with you, your family and your customers as we all start to adapt and navigate our way through these uncertain times.

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


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