CoVID-19 Status

Covid-19 Operational Status and Updates

We are pleased to confirm that TFM are still operating a full service and support team to all of our customers throughout the COVID-19 period.

Our suppliers are also continuing to provide us with the necessary updates to their revised working processes and as such we are happy to confirm that very few service affecting issues have impacted our operations.

Below are the update’s we have been providing as part of the regular cadence of communication in reverse chronological order.

Additional customer support

 

Where possible, TFM and our supply chain are trying to off-set the fiscal challenges for our customers.

If you are an existing customer of TFM and you have not been in contact with you account manager for assistance then please reach out to your TFM contact or use the contact details below to ask for help.

There are schemes in place from some suppliers and as such we are happy to talk these through with you and see if they are viable for your business.

COvid-19 UPdate #5

TFM are keen to ensure that we continue to provide you with as much information as possible about our ability and our supply partners ability, to deliver your services as expected.

In line with our previous notifications, Openreach, since April have been prioritising critical infrastructure. With a number of restrictions being relaxed, Openreach are now able to progress most BAU orders.

Update to our COVID-19 approach for provision journeys

We’ve been progressing appointed work (e.g. SIM2 and FTTC with short lead-times and in-flight work) delivering in the network, without visiting premises, with a relatively high success rate (up to 70%). This gives us confidence that we can do more traditionally appointed work in the network, without visiting end customer premises and, as a result, we’re able to be reduce the lead times for WLR and MPF from the current 45 working days to our standard lead times.

For WLR, we are proposing to implement a process whereby Openreach will bring forward June appointments, where appropriate, on their behalf subject to availability of appointment

– Engineers will return to working inside end customers premises for:
o Short-duration provision
o Where the job is considered low risk
o When provision cannot be carried out externally, which remains our first preference

All work remains subject to resource and skills availability and will follow the shared priority principles where/if needed.

Voice/Broadband Field Provisioning

1. Engineer will attempt to provide the service by working in the network and close the job if successful
2. If unable to provide service externally, the engineer will go to the premises if it is a Critical Network Infrastructure (CNI) 1 /welfare/’Covid19 at risk’2 / specific key worker end customer without mobile/phone/broadband
3. The engineer will also now go to the premises for short duration jobs and close the job if successful
4. If not a CNI/welfare/at risk/specific key worker end customer, or the job cannot be completed in the short time (as per the above) the engineer will further the task for reappointment by Openreach (note: currently this will be 21 days out)
5. If CNI/welfare/Covid-19 at risk/specific key worker, or for short duration jobs, the engineer will ask the end customer the ‘3 risk assessment questions’
a) If the answer is ‘yes’ to any question, the job will be sent to the Openreach case management team to liaise with the CP and PHE to explore alternative solutions
b) If the answer is ‘no’ to any question, the engineer will enter the premises following the Openreach safety protocol to complete the job to the master socket (no extra work performed)

Ethernet, Optical, Cablelink, DFX, PIA Field Provisioning

1. For ‘network-only’ products – i.e. Cablelink, DFX, PIA – engineers will provide the service by working in the network and close the job
2. For other products – Ethernet, Optical – engineers will first progress the work up to the end customer curtilage
3. The engineer will then only go to the premises to complete the provisioning task if it is ‘Critical Network Infrastructure (CNI) Covid-191’ or a ‘standard CNI’ job
4. If not a CNI Covid-19 or a ‘standard’ CNI job, the engineer will stop at the curtilage and delay the job
5. If a CNI Covid-19 or a ‘standard’ CNI job, the engineer will go to the premises and assess the risk level
a) If the risk level is deemed too high, the job will be sent to the Openreach case management team to assess options with the CP
b) If the risk level is deemed acceptable, the engineer will enter the premises following the Openreach and end customer safety protocol to complete the job

Updated Guidance for Customers

To protect our people and end users, we are asking our customers to help us make their home safe pre visit.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation we wanted to make you aware of some changes to our processes to ensure we keep your end users and our engineers safe. We also have a couple of things to ask you to do to ensure we can provide service as quickly and safely as possible. When you’re in contact with your end user about our visit we need your help setting expectations for the day, including what they can do before the engineer arrives.

Our engineers will do all they can to get you up and running without entering your premise. However, there may be instances where we need to enter the premises for a short duration. In case this is needed, please can you ask your end users to do the following 3 simple steps in advance of our engineering visit:
1. Please clear a path to the main telephone socket (if you have one) and/or comms area
2. Please wipe down any surfaces around the telephone socket and/or comms area our engineers may come into contact with
3. Please open any windows or doors if possible where the engineer will likely have to work

Please also help us to set expectations for the end user on the day:
1. On the day of the visit our, engineer may contact you asking a number of screening questions which will allow us to identify if any circumstances have changed e.g.
• Is anyone onsite experiencing any coronavirus symptoms?
• Has anyone onsite been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient in the past 14 days?
• Does anyone onsite have anyone at home self-isolating for 7-14 days?
• If the assessment is successful, an appointment will be agreed.
• A site risk assessment will be carried out by the engineer on the day, before work commences on site.
2. If an engineer does needs to enter your premise, please be aware that they may put on a mask and/or gloves
3. Please keep 2 metres social distancing from the engineer and if possible move to a different room

Identifying and prioritising “Covid At Risk” end customers

Based on PHE’s advice, we seek to work with you to help identify “Covid At Risk” customers so should we need to, we can prioritise these orders and faults.
Please note, where applicable, the Openreach Welfare process remains in place and below is a supplementary process to this.
Criteria:
1) The end customer meets the PHE’s criteria for “Covid At Risk” & equivalent for Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-onshielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
2) The end user has no working telephony and/or Broadband service
3) The household does not have access to a mobile
If criteria 1, 2 and 3 are met we will ask you to highlight this on your CRF order form
We also ask you to establish if the end customer/anyone in the premise are showing symptoms. We will follow appropriate processes based on the answer to protect your end users and our workforce.

What Openreach will do:
• Openreach will try to provide service up to the premises
• When safe to do so, Openreach will complete the work in the premises (this could be on the day if safe or a mutually agreed later date)
• If Openreach are unable to provide service on the day we will work with you through your order manager and Openreach case management team so we are able to provide a temporary solution

If you have any queries or questions, please do call into the your TFM account manager or Customer Service team.

COvid-19 UPdate #4

TFM are keen to ensure that we continue to provide you with as much information as possible about our ability and our supply partners ability, to deliver your services as expected.

We have received notification from our courier service that they are now changing the way they operate for the foreseeable future, due to the impact of COVID-19, on normal working practices. Please see the main points below:

• Collection slots will be limited between 10:00-13:00 and collections cannot be guaranteed; this may impact despatch of NBD requests
• Please ensure any requests for next day delivery are submitted as early as possible to increase chance of fulfilling your request
• In order to protect drivers and customers alike from the risk of infection whilst delivering parcels we are approving a temporary change to the POD signature requirements. This change is effective immediately until further notice
• If there is a safe place parcels can be left, please advise your TFM order contact accordingly

Deliveries to a Business Premise
• Please advise your TFM order contact would like you to place the parcel maintaining a 2-meter distance from business staff wherever possible
• Due to the fact that we are taking extra precautions over Coronavirus, we do not require a signature
• The courier will ask for the recipient’s name and enter into the surname field

For Deliveries to Residential Addresses
• Courier will place the parcel on the doorstep
• Knock on the door
• Step back two meters
• Explain to occupant that due to extra precautions over Coronavirus, we will not require a signature
• Courier will ask for the recipient’s name and enter into the surname field

If no one answers the door – delivery will be carded in the normal manner and returned to base.

For “leave safe parcels” that have specific leave safe instructions provided
• Courier will leave parcel in a safe place
• Courier will put a card through the door stating where the parcel is left
• Courier will take a photograph showing the parcel and surrounding environment to identify location

In the event of any claim for Non Delivery on the “Signature Required” Parcels GPS data from the Epod device will be used to challenge.

TFM will endeavour to assist wherever possible but please be aware that we will be required to operate within these new guidelines.

COvid-19 UPdate #3

We have received notification from our courier service that they are now changing the way they operate for the foreseeable future, due to the impact of COVID-19, on normal working practices. Please see the main points below: 

  • Collection slots will be limited between 10:00-13:00 and collections cannot be guaranteed; this may impact despatch of NBD requests
  • Please ensure any requests for next day delivery are submitted as early as possible to increase chance of fulfilling your request
  • In order to protect drivers and customers alike from the risk of infection whilst delivering parcels we are approving a temporary change to the POD signature requirements. This change is effective immediately until further notice
  • If there is a safe place parcels can be left, please advise your TFM order contact accordingly

Deliveries to a Business Premise

  • Please advise your TFM order contact would like you to place the parcel maintaining a 2-meter distance from business staff wherever possible
  • Due to the fact that we are taking extra precautions over Coronavirus, we do not require a signature
  • The courier will ask for the recipient’s name and enter into the surname field

For Deliveries to Residential Addresses

  • Courier will place the parcel on the doorstep
  • Knock on the door
  • Step back two meters
  • Explain to occupant that due to extra precautions over Coronavirus, we will not require a signature
  • Courier will ask for the recipient’s name and enter into the surname field

If no one answers the door – delivery will be carded in the normal manner and returned to base. 

For “leave safe parcels” that have specific leave safe instructions provided

  • Courier will leave parcel in a safe place
  • Courier will put a card through the door stating where the parcel is left
  • Courier will take a photograph showing the parcel and surrounding environment to identify location

In the event of any claim for Non Delivery on the “Signature Required” Parcels GPS data from the Epod device will be used to challenge.

TFM will endeavour to assist wherever possible but please be aware that we will be required to operate within these new guidelines.

Covid-19 UPdate #2

The TFM core network and services continue to operate to SLA and our customer service team and service desk is handling all customer requests as they arise with no issues. 

We have however received notification from BT Openreach that they are now changing the way they operate for the foreseeable future, due to the impact of COVID-19 on normal working practices. The main points of which are detailed below.  

In essence, unless your organisation falls into the Critical National Infrastructure category, defined below, then please expect delays to the repair and provision of services.  

TFM will endeavour to assist wherever possible but please be aware that we will have to operate within these new guidelines.

 

 

What Provision and Repair changes will Openreach be making?

 

Openreach have advised that with immediate effect, and until further notice, they are closing non-critical contact channels for the following products:

·     Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)

·     Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)

·     Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)

·     Fibre to the Premise (FTTP)

·     GFAST

·     Ethernet Access Direct

·     Migration Services

What impacts will this have from a Provisioning Perspective?

 

Provisioning work will be limited to the following:

·     Activities where no Engineering visit to end-Customer premises is required (e.g., Self-Install, CP-to-CP migrations etc)

·     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 they 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)

 

What impacts will this have from a Repair Perspective?

 

Repair work will continue to be focused on restoring service with safe working practices, and with revised processes to further reduce social interaction wherever possible.

Openreach have advised that with immediate effect: 

  • Openreach appointment books for new appointed provision orders are being moved out to Monday 1st June 2020. However, this may be reviewed due to the current circumstances.
  • Openreach will attempt to complete appointed inflight orders outside of the premises.
  • Non appointed orders will continue to go ahead where no visit is required to go to the premises (transfers, upgrades to Fibre to the Cabinet).
  • Repair books will remain open at this time. However, Openreach are reviewing non-urgent repair processes.
  • Engineers will be asked NOT to enter the end customer premises and to enable/restore service where possible from outside of the premises.
  • The Openreach Emergency Helpdesk will remain open. However, all business as usual contact centres have now closed.

Due to the effects of extensive Government restrictions across the UK, Openreach have announced that they will be declaring a MBORC (Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control) for provision, repair, missed appointments and the availability of appointments on a national basis.

The affected products are as follows: 

  • Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
  • Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
  • Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)
  • Fibre to the Premise (FTTP)
  • GFAST
  • Ethernet Access Direct

 

Covid-19 UPdate #1

As part of our overall Business Continuity Plan we have implemented a series of immediate measures to ensure TFM continues to deliver the a high level of service and the continuation of customer service is at the forefront of our operations.

 

The measures we have introduced include:

 

  • We have already invoked a working from home policy as of March 13th

 

  • Undertaken business impact assessments across our sites to identify and prepare for the continuation of services under a worst-case scenario.

 

  • Implemented revised attendance patterns for all TFM staff and key service partners, with 24×7 shift cover in place to maintain critical services.

 

  • Advised all staff to consider the need for face to face meetings and temporarily suspended attendance of conferences and events.

 

  • Monitoring traffic and internet usage patterns across the TFM Core network as traffic usage changes

 

We are also in close dialogue with our supply chain partners and the below messaging is from Openreach with regards to engineering practices.

 

Changes to Openreach engineering practices

 

Openreach have advised they are making some simple changes to engineers’ procedures. Going forward before entering an end users’ premises* they will ask two questions, to assess the situation and establish the possible presence of a patient with COVID-19:

1.    Has anyone in the premises been diagnosed with COVID-19, been asked to self-isolate, or has travelled to a Coronavirus high-risk area or country in the last 14 days?

2.    Is anyone in the premises suffering from flu-like symptoms?

If the answer to the first question is yes, the engineer will contact a special hotline for further advice on how to proceed and to ensure the job is correctly reappointed by CPs, as and when appropriate.

If the answer to the second question is yes, the engineer will proceed with the job, but will undertake additional hygiene actions. This includes wiping surfaces, asking the end customer to remain in a different room, not accepting the offer of drinks and on finishing the job not completing the sign-off with the customer.

If the answer to both questions is no, the job will proceed as normal.

 

*Applies to residential and small business premises, covering volume telephony and broadband products and excluding Ethernet or Optical services.