Announcements - Openreach - COVID-19 Update, 24 Mar 2020

Phil Irwin @ 24 March 2020

OPENREACH, 24 March 2020

Update on our planning for the Coronavirus outbreak

Last night (Monday 23 March 2020) the UK Government announced strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus. People now must stay at home except for shopping for necessities, limited daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home. These measures apply to all parts of the UK.

What that means for Openreach

What Openreach does is critical to maintaining the fabric of UK society – connecting people has never been more important than right now. That’s why many Openreach roles have been categorised as ‘key worker’ status by the Government. We also want to ensure the safety of our people and the general public. Our approach, based on the new Government advice, is as follows:

We will now prioritise only the essential work and absolutely minimise work that requires our engineers to enter end customer premises.

Provision work carried out by Service Delivery and Fibre and Network Delivery will be limited to:

Self-install activities (i.e. where there is no engineering visit to the end customer premises)

Service to vulnerable end customers (in-home and carried out safely, only where essential)

Those end customers who have no other form of broadband or telephony available - and we will look to deal with these via escalation channels jointly with the CP to find a solution that doesn’t require a home visit

On-premises work for critical national infrastructure customers (NHS, pharmacies, utilities, emergency services, retail and wholesale food distribution outlets, financial services businesses and other categories defined by the Government)

Repair work for both volume and 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.

With immediate effect:

We will attempt to complete appointed inflight orders outside of the premises

Engineers will be asked NOT to enter the end customer premises and to enable/restore service where possible from outside of the premises.

Our priority is to ensure that end customers remain connected at this time.

We will be sharing more detail as it is available.