EAB overview May 2015
EAB publishes its Annual Report
It is almost 10 years since the Undertakings took effect in September 2005 and we have published our tenth Annual Report monitoring BT's compliance with them.
In his introduction to the report, Phil Hodkinson, the EAB Chairman, notes that the EAB’s focus has moved from checking implementation to monitoring compliance and responding to developments in the marketplace, now BT has met the timed implementation milestones contained in the Undertakings. While recognising the positive developments in the UK communications market since the implementation of the Undertakings, he highlights that Ofcom's announcement of a Strategic Review of Digital Communications will provide an opportunity for the ongoing relevance and effectiveness of the Undertakings to be considered.
Read the report at www.bt.com/eabreport
We met in April, and EAB members met members of the Ofcom board in May to brief them on our annual report.
Undertakings delivery report
Delivery of systems milestones
At our April meeting, BT reported that it had achieved migrations as planned for the current financial year and presented its plans for further migrations in the next 12 months. We considered BT to have made satisfactory progress, and that its plans for the coming year were also satisfactory.
BT reported that it was close to reaching agreement with Ofcom on how the remaining ‘tail’ of records would be managed. We expect correspondence between BT and Ofcom, formally setting out this agreement, to be published shortly and we will be monitoring BT's achievement of the agreed plan.
Andrew Heaney, Executive Director of Strategy & Regulation at TalkTalk Group, presented to our April meeting, highlighting his view that - although the Undertakings had delivered effectively on the issues they were established to address - 10 years on it was time to reconsider their effectiveness.
EAB's future work plan
In the next year the EAB will be focusing on the following key risks:
- organizational change;
- end-to-end working;
- ineffective controls over system access;
- technology change;
- collaboration and social networking tools;
- BT's breach process; and
- Customer Side Records and EoI migration tail.
There were two breaches on which we concluded at our April 2015 meeting:
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Two Openreach Operational Support Systems (OSS) that had previously been hosted on physically separate systems were migrated to the BT Enterprise Cloud. This meant that they no longer met the system separation requirements of the Undertakings
BT will develop a new Openreach instance of the Enterprise Cloud and migrate the offending systems to it. BT is also reviewing the training given to systems designers and the governance of systems changes to avoid repetition.
Three systems hosted on the BT Enterprise Cloud were made available for Openreach use. As Openreach systems they should have been migrated to separated systems.
The remedy described above will address both breaches.
BT published key performance indicators (KPIs) showing the output performance of its regulated wholesale products. The KPI charts for each product portfolio compare service performance for BT’s business units to that for other CPs.
BT has announced that Phil Hodkinson will be stepping down as a non-executive director of BT in January 2016. He will be replaced as EAB Chair by Isabel Hudson, who joined the BT plc board in November 2014.
CPs – Communications Providers
EAB –Equality of Access Board
EAO - Equality of Access Office
EoI – Equivalence of Inputs, which means that BT provides the same product or service to all CPs on the same timescales, terms and conditions and by means of the same systems or processes
KPIs – Key Performance Indicators
OSS - Operational Support Systems