25 March 2020
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister that the United Kingdom is entering a period of lockdown I feel it is important to update you about the impact this could have on the delivery of your new services and support.
Openreach, the main supplier of Ethernet and Broadband products in the UK have issued a statement today that will significantly impact their ability to provide physical on-site support for most of our customers due to a key in change in process for their on-site engineers.
The only exceptions to these new processes are sites of critical importance to the continued survival of the community as a whole. Specifically, these are NHS sites, Pharmacies, Utilities, The Emergency Services, The food supply chain and Financial Services. There are also exceptions made for vulnerable consumers and consumers with no existing access to internet.
For all other sites Openreach Engineers will not enter any premises to complete any on-site installations. For installations that fall into the exceptions group work will be permitted only after Openreach have assessed how critical the site is to the survival of the community as a whole.
Where no physical site presence is required service will continue in the normal fashion subject to a national ‘MBORC’ statement (Matters Beyond our reasonable Control). This means that for as long as the statement remains in force Openreach can offer no guarantee of timescale for either new installations or fault repair for all of their products.
The Openreach statement does say that fault repair will continue as usual with safe working practices around distancing but we can expect that where a site is not critical as described above repair is unlikely to take place within the usual timescales.
Virgin have issued a statement reflecting the same approach as Openreach. We expect our other suppliers to follow the same guidelines shortly.
This will mean that until the 1st June we believe it is unlikely that current outstanding orders will be appointed and delivered for Ethernet, FTTC, FTTP and Broadband products other than for the exceptions listed above for any of our customers.
This does not affect the provision of Mobile Phones, Mobile Connect Data Service, Hosted Telephony or SIP which are still available within the usual timescales.
With new updates every day the situation remains very changeable and we will continue to update you as and when the situation changes or is further clarified. If you have any questions or concerns regarding either orders in progress or our continued support please contact your account manager in the first instance.
Russell Horton, CEO