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Openreach responds to Porting claims

Last week Comms Business caught wind of disruption to the porting services within Openreach as India went into a lockdown and staff could no longer get into the office. You can read that story here.

Responding to the claims made by wholesale customers in touch with the Indian operations, Katie Milligan, Managing Director for Customer Commercial and Propositions at Openreach said:

“We were really disappointed to see comments accusing Openreach of blocking porting and ceasing operations. That’s simply not true at all.

The lockdown situation in India did mean we had to quickly move our number porting team from being office based to working from home.

We’re continuing to work with our colleagues in India to make sure they have the tools they need to bring the service back to its usual standard whilst they’re in lockdown and we’re training more colleagues to help lighten the load. In the meantime, we have not stopped porting. We’ll ensure that all of our customers can continue to have their number porting requests dealt with quickly and seamlessly.”

As this situation unfolded, we acted as quickly as we could and kept our customers informed throughout.

Like any business, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the way we’ve been able to operate during the last couple of weeks, and we continue to work tirelessly to keep as many customers as connected as possible and so far I think we’ve done a brilliant job across the business to keep services as normal as possible. I have to say thank you to those in the wider Industry for pulling together in the interests of customers.”

The messages coming from the ‘front line’ appear to be incongruous with the statement but it is still unclear if ports which aren’t in the automated system, i.e. those that need human intervention, are completing at the moment. Openreach communicated to customers last week that operations were ‘significantly impacted’ and were ‘aiming’ to resume operations early this week.

It is also unclear how those orders which aren’t for vulnerable or critical customers will now take. On supplier close to this story is holding off telling customers until they know how reliable the dates for activation are.

In an email to providers last week, Bruce Benson, Senior product manager – Openreach wrote “Our current service is significantly impacted, during this time there will be delays in responses however we are standing up additional agent resource with the aim to return to as near a business as usual service as possible on data actions by early next week.

We will address existing backlogs and focusing on activation delays with potential loss of service as a priority. In the interim we ask that the escalation channel is not used unless the port involves a welfare case or potential loss of service. Voice routes will remain closed until further notice.”



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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine