COVID-19: Wholesale Channel Service Updates

The Government has declared that telecommunications infrastructure is critical to continue to allow both society and the economy to function and to enable rapid economic recovery when the COVID-19 crisis is over. It has therefore requested that telecommunications operators continue to build as well as maintain networks throughout this period.

In these challenging times we want partners to know they can confidently continue to place orders for customers, so to keep you updated throughout this period, we'll be posting notable updates on matters that will or may impact the processes we follow in the wholesale team to provision and technically support your orders.

Our field-staff and those of our contractors are defined as ‘key workers’ and are exempt from the wider restrictions on movement. Nonetheless, we are continually reviewing our processes in line with Government guidance. Visit CityFibre’s COVID-19 response page to see why we’re still building and how we’re keeping our people safe.

Choose your service category for more details:

Last updated: 25/08/2020

Workers with fibre coil on the road.

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Provisioning

Factors affecting CityFibre services

Update on some survey appointing delays

Over the past few months many businesses have been in lockdown and working from home, which resulted in survey pipelines becoming quite thin. This has allowed us to focus on project-based surveys that had been alongside business surveys taking up available resource.

Now that we are starting to get to the “New Normal” we are seeing businesses return to their premises and existing orders are able to progress again. Due to this, surveys have started to increase over June and July into August. This is causing additional demand affecting dates being made available to new customer orders.

We are seeing delays mainly in the Midlands (3 weeks delay) and the North of England (2 weeks delay), however additional resource has been allocated to these areas and once the backlog has been cleared we will see this return to normal timescales of between 4 – 6 days.

We will monitor this closely and provide a further update in 2 weeks.

25-08-2020 | 15:09


Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow

We continue to work with the Local Authority in Aberdeen with a view to remobilising works in this city. Further updates will be provided as soon as they are available. In Edinburgh we have had permits accepted and will commence works on those few trials this week in agreement with the Local Authority. Meanwhile, we have successfully completed build works in Glasgow on several deliveries and we are continuing to push more deliveries through the Local Authority.

21-04-2020 | 15:02


Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow

We have mobilised a team in Glasgow to deliver a small number of services over the next 10 days. This is in collaboration with the Local Authority and we are looking to increase productivity as we progress through these deliveries. Edinburgh and Aberdeen are still in discussions with the local authorities to remobilise works in these areas and we will provide further updates as soon as we are able.

15-04-2020 | 11:46


Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow

Contractors have been stood down for 2-3 weeks in agreement with the Local Authority, and will resume as soon as instructed.

08-04-2020 | 09:29


CityFibre orders

Currently CityFibre on-net orders are progressing as normal and site visits are taking place if site is accessible. The Government considers telecommunications operations critical for the UK. As a result, we’ve been asked to continue to build and maintain our networks. Our field-staff and those of our contractors are defined as ‘key workers’ and are exempt from the wider restrictions on movement. Nonetheless, we are continually reviewing our processes in line with Government guidance and will not compromise the health or safety of our staff nor those of our build partners and customers.

31-03-2020 | 14:28


Site Surveys

For CityFibre orders, where our planners need to make physical site visits, they will conduct a risk assessment at the start and throughout the survey in terms of customers adhering to social distancing and point out anything they feel is not in accordance with that guidance. Customers should be reminded that they must maintain a minimum 2 metre distance during surveys and installations.

31-03-2020 | 14:25


External works/wayleaves/other prerequisites completion

We will continue to progress anything we can including wayleaves, surveys and build (dependant on Local Authorities granting permissions etc). Our wayleaves team are functioning as per usual.

31-03-2020 | 14:21


Aberdeen - DELETED (15-04-2020)

Due to restrictions in Aberdeen, there will be delays in progressing orders. We will still take orders but will have to put them on hold once they reach the build stage. We will update partners when we can progress these orders.

31-03-2020 | 14:18


Customer-requested install delays

Customers can delay installs until they return to vacated offices. We will simply place it on hold awaiting customer access during the survey stage, and the same during the installation stage.

31-03-2020 | 14:12


Hardware supply chains

We have more than enough stocks of hardware to cover business installations.

31-03-2020 | 14:08


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Factors affecting non-CityFibre services

Openreach Ethernet Delivery

We’re pleased to advise partners that Openreach lifted their MBORC (Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control) on Ethernet services from 23:59 04 August 2020, so provisioning with providers who use Openreach access circuits will continue moving back towards business as usual operation.

19-08-2020 | 12:17


Openreach WLR and Broadband Engineering Visits

Where an engineering visit is booked, partners are asked to advise their end customers of the following steps to keep everyone safe:

  1. Please clear a path to the main telephone socket if you have one.
  2. Please wipe down any surfaces around the telephone socket which engineers may come into contact with.
  3. Please open any windows or doors if possible where the engineer will likely have to work.

Please ensure that for these orders the contact is the end user to avoid any unnecessary delays or missed appointments.

Please can you also help set customer expectations on the day:

  1. When an order is placed a link will be texted to a video with the above steps asking the customer to accept them pre-visit by texting back “Watched”. If the provided number is not a mobile, the customer will receive a call between 8am and 5pm ahead of the visit asking for confirmation the steps above are agreed.
  2. On the day of the visit, before arriving, the engineer will contact your customer asking a number of screening questions to identify if any circumstances have changed.
  3. If there is no contact with the customer the engineer will work outside and not complete the installation in the customer premises.
  4. If an engineer does needs to enter, please make customers aware that they may put on a mask and/or gloves.
  5. Please ask customers to keep 2 metres social distancing from the engineer and if possible move to a different room.
  6. Once the engineer has finished working they will wipe down any surface they have touched before leaving. No work will be done past the main socket.

20-05-2020 | 12:36


Openreach to begin phased approach to arranging end customer site access

Openreach have today confirmed they are beginning a phased approach to arranging end customer site access (for survey’s and installs) from 18th May.

14-05-2020 | 12:36


Virgin Media to begin arranging site visits

Virgin Media are beginning to arrange site visits to carry out site surveys and installations. If the end customer’s site is open to accommodate a site visit please contact your Order Management Coordinator to advise and we will look to arrange an appointment for the soonest available time. Please be aware engineers must adhere to strict government guidelines whilst visiting the site.

05-05-2020 | 15:19


Openreach automated cancellation process

Openreach have announced they are suspending their 90 day automated cancellation process during the current situation meaning orders can continue to be on hold without risk of cancellation.

21-04-2020 | 15:04


Virgin on-net circuits

Virgin have amended their date for on-net site visit appointments and are now stating 31st May.

15-04-2020 | 11:42


Non-CityFibre orders

For all non-critical sites, orders at a point where a site visit is needed for it to progress will be placed on hold. As per BT Openreach’s announcement, any order that requires Openreach to visit site will be placed on hold and visits begin to be rescheduled from 1st June. For Virgin ‘on-net’ orders outside of the critical categories published by Virgin, the visit will be re-booked for after 27th April.

31-03-2020 | 14:44


Customer-requested install delays

Customers can delay installs until they return to vacated offices. We will simply place it on hold awaiting customer access during the survey stage, and the same during the installation stage.

31-03-2020 | 14:41


External works/wayleaves/other prerequisites completion

We will continue to progress anything we can including wayleaves, surveys and build (dependant on Local Authorities granting permissions etc). Wayleave teams are functioning as per usual.

31-03-2020 | 14:39


Hardware supply chains

We have more than enough stocks of hardware to cover business installations.

31-03-2020 | 14:36


BT FTTC/ADSL/PSTN orders

All phone and e-chat facilities have been withdrawn by Openreach. We are using available systems to provide the latest information for our customers but there may be times when we are unable to give immediate answers on current installs. Any new orders are being appointed for 01/06/20 onwards and any missed appointments are following the same. There may be occasions when we can get these brought forward.

31-03-2020 | 14:33


BT FTTP

The Openreach phones facilities are still available for FTTP and as such this is BAU albeit orders being pushed back to 01/06/20 onwards.

31-03-2020 | 14:31


Openreach announcement and impacts to service update Fri 27/3/2020

Following the update on Wednesday 25th March regarding the Openreach announcement on changes to working practices, Openreach has shared the following about how this will impact services.

New sale or resign

You don’t need to stop selling to customers; you will need to manage customers’ expectations that there will be an extended lead time for any work requiring an engineer visit to customer premises.

Provisions

  • Ethernet – most new & inflight orders are impacted as they require an engineer visit to customer premises. Orders can be placed and delivery will be postponed will after 1st June. 
  • Broadband & Lines – most new & inflight orders and faults are still progressing as normal, except when an engineer visit to customer premises is required 
  • Number porting – most ports are progressing as normal – some may have small delays where Openreach back office support is needed 

This does not apply to Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) customers. Any inflight or new orders for CNI customers with engineer visits to customer premises will be completed, subject to resource availability and safe working practices.

Fault and Repairs

Repair work for business products will continue to be focused on restoring service with safe working practices, and with revised processes to further reduce social interaction wherever possible. You may expect extended lead times for repairs.

Who are CNI customers?

CNI customers are defined as NHS, pharmacies, utilities, emergency services, retail and wholesale food distribution outlets, financial services businesses and other categories defined by the UK Government.

This definition is subject to change in line with UK Gov guidance. Please use normal escalation processes if your customer is CNI.

How do I notify you if a customer is classified as a priority under the new Openreach criteria?

With regards to vulnerable, emergency and essential customers (e.g. hospitals, medical practices), partners MUST notify us of these IMMEDIATELY so that we can escalate these to BT as per the new guidelines above. Please notify us via your case in synergi or call: 

  • 0330 100 0330 - Broadband / PSTN
  • 0330 100 4040 - CityFibre orders
  • 0330 100 3554 - Other suppliers

31-03-2020 | 14:11


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Provisioning

Visit CityFibre's response page to see why we’re still building and how we’re keeping our people safe.

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Technical Support

New Ethernet provisions

We continue to work to provision Ethernet services as normal where only a router is required. However, provisioning requiring physical plug-in at remote locations will not take place. We are reviewing this situation regularly and will advise of any changes.

31-03-2020 | 14:28


Planned maintenance

Where we have planned maintenance or customers wish to schedule planned maintenance, this may be delayed if it requires the physical presence of our engineer(s) in a data centre due to restrictions on data centre access or due to manpower constraints with the prioritisation of BAU tasks. We are reviewing this situation regularly and will advise of any changes.

31-03-2020 | 14:21


Data centre access

As some data centre owners move to temporarily limit access to their premises for emergency and critical issues only, we will where possible and appropriate use remote hands to complete any tasks. However, this may introduce delays outside of the normal process.

31-03-2020 | 14:18


Firewall configuration and licensing requests

We are processing all requests as quickly as possible and in order of receipt.

31-03-2020 | 14:14


Replacement hardware shipping

While we have put measures in place to be able to replace hardware if required, our reliance on couriers also affected by the current situation may result in delays in shipping hardware to customers.

31-03-2020 | 14:04


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