Own-initiative investigation into BT’s compliance with section 5.44.2(c)(ii) of Undertakings offered by BT and accepted by Ofcom in accordance with section 154 of the Enterprise Act 2002

20 November 2013

Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative investigation
Investigation against: British Telecommunications plc (BT)
Case opened: 14 January 2013
Case closed: 20 November 2013
Issue: BT’s compliance with section 5.44.2(c)(ii) of the Undertakings pursuant to which BT agreed to ensure that by 31 December 2012 at least 90% of BT’s Customer Side Records relating to the Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT are migrated to at least Level 2 System Separation.
Relevant instrument: Section 167 of the Enterprise Act 2002

Under paragraph 7 a. of the direction issued by Ofcom on 14 March 2013 and accepted by BT on 28 March 2013, BT is required to ensure that by 30 November 2013 at least 90% of its Customer Side Records relating to Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT are migrated to at least Level 2 System Separation.

On 16 October 2013, BT announced that in advance of the 30 November 2013 deadline it had already migrated at least 90% of its Customer Side Records relating to Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT to at least Level 2 System Separation. Further, on 6 November 2013, the Equality of Access Board (EAB) wrote to Ofcom informing it that the EAB members had considered the conclusions of a validation review carried out by the Equality of Access Office (EAO) into the migration of Customer Side Records relating to Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems in accordance with the terms of Ofcom’s direction. Based on the EAO’s review, the EAB agreed that BT had achieved 90% Customer Side Records migrations in advance of 30 November 2013 in compliance with Ofcom’s direction. Ofcom is therefore satisfied that BT has secured compliance with the direction and has closed this case.

Update note – 13 May 2013

Under paragraph 7 b. of the direction issued by Ofcom on 14 March 2013 and accepted by BT on 28 March 2013, BT is required to report to Ofcom by 3 May 2013 on the percentage of BT’s Customer Side Records relating to Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT which have been migrated to at least Level 2 System Separation as at 30 April 2013. In the event of that percentage being less than 88%, the direction provides for BT to explain the reasons for this being the case and detail the actions it is taking to ensure that it will still comply with the requirement in paragraph 7 a. of the direction to migrate at least 90% of relevant Customer Side Records by 30 November 2013.

On 2 May 2013 BT wrote to Ofcom reporting that by 30 April 2013 it had migrated 88.2% of its Customer Side Records relating to the Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT to at least Level 2 System Separation (please see related item).

End of update note

Update note – 4 April 2013

On 28 March 2013 BT wrote to Ofcom formally accepting the direction given to BT by Ofcom on 14 March 2013. The direction specified steps to be taken by 30 November 2013 for the purpose of securing compliance with section 5.44.2(c)(ii) of the Undertakings (please see related item). Following BT’s acceptance, the direction took effect from 28 March 2013.

End of update note

Update note – 19 March 2013

On 18 February 2013 BT wrote to Ofcom setting out its representations on the draft direction served on BT on 15 January 2013. In light of BT’s representations, Ofcom sent BT a further draft of a direction on 1 March 2013, to which BT responded on 11 March 2013 making no further representations.

Ofcom has considered BT’s representations and is satisfied that BT is in breach of section 5.44.2(c)(ii) of the Undertakings. Therefore, on 14 March 2013 Ofcom gave BT a direction with that section. BT has until 28 March 2013 to give written notice to Ofcom as to whether it accepts or declines to accept the direction. The direction only takes effect if BT accepts, or is deemed to have accepted, the direction.

End of update note

Update note – 24 January 2013

On 15 January 2013 Ofcom gave BT a Notification that they have reasonable grounds for believing that BT has breached section 5.44.2(c)(ii) of the Undertakings, setting out Ofcom’s reasons and enclosing a draft of a direction specifying and describing steps to be taken by BT for the purposes of securing compliance with section 5.44.2(c)(ii).  BT may make representations to Ofcom on the Notification and draft of a direction by 18 February 2013.

End of update note

Ofcom has opened an own-initiative investigation into BT’s compliance with section 5.44.2(c)(ii) of the Undertakings offered by BT and accepted by Ofcom in accordance with section 154 of the Enterprise Act 2002.

The investigation relates to whether BT migrated 90% of its Customer Side Records relating to the Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT to at least Level 2 System Separation by 31 December 2012.

Background

BT offered and Ofcom accepted Undertakings in accordance with section 154 of the Enterprise Act 2002, those Undertakings taking effect on 22 September 2005. Further to variations to the Undertakings agreed by Ofcom and BT on 21 June 2007 and 11 September 2009, section 5.44.2(c)(ii) provides for BT to ensure that by 31 December 2012 at least 90% of BT’s Customer Side Records relating to the Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT are migrated to at least Level 2 System Separation. Level 2 System Separation means both (a) separation of the data held by the system and (b) separate instances of the application software, such that users can only have access to which they are entitled or which they are permitted, consistently with the Undertakings.

On 8 January 2013 BT confirmed that as at 31 December 2012 it had not migrated 90 per cent of BT’s Customer Side Records relating to the Measured Products held on Operational Support Systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT to at least Level 2 System Separation. Ofcom has therefore opened an investigation into whether BT is in breach and whether enforcement action is required.

Case Leader: Elizabeth Greenberg (email: elizabeth.greenberg@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: 0506-PR-000015