Own initiative investigation into British Telecommunications plc concerning compliance with quality of service requirements relating to the provision of wholesale Ethernet services

10 August 2017

Complainant: Ofcom own initiative investigation

Investigation against: British Telecommunications plc (“BT”)

Case opened: 17 May 2017

Case closed: 10 August 2017

Issue: Whether BT has complied with quality of service requirements for the provision of wholesale Ethernet services in the period 28 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

Relevant instrument:
SMP Services Condition 7 set out at Annex 35 of the Business Connectivity Market Review statement dated 28 April 2016 (which is a Notification under section 45 of the Communication Act 2003).

Update note - 10 August 2017

Ofcom has found that BT has failed to comply with SMP Condition 7 in relation to Ethernet quality of service requirements as set out in the 2016 BCMR. As set out below, the upper percentile limit required BT to complete no more than 3% of Ethernet orders in more than 159 working days in the period between 28 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. Ofcom has found that BT completed 3.18% of orders in more than 159 working days in this period.

Ofcom has however decided not to impose a penalty on BT in this case. In coming to this decision Ofcom has considered a number of factors including the narrow margin by which BT failed to comply with one of the six quality of service requirements, as well as evidence of an overall improvement in Openreach’s quality of service in the relevant period. BT has admitted liability for this breach and co-operated with our investigation.

Ofcom has issued a confirmation decision to BT under section 96C of the Communication Act 2003. A non-confidential version of the Confirmation Decision can be found under related content.

End of update note

In the 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review statement, Ofcom imposed on BT certain quality of service requirements in relation to the provision of Ethernet services. One of these, known as the ‘upper percentile limit’, required that no more than 3% of orders for relevant wholesale Ethernet services completed in the period 28 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 should be delivered in more than 159 working days (subject to a number of adjustments, such as taking account of customer caused delays).

Ofcom has today opened an investigation to examine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing BT has failed to comply with this obligation.

Case Leader: Joe Woolmer (joe.woolmer@ofcom.org.uk)

Case Reference: CW/01196/05/17