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Copper withdrawal programme update - July 2022

Programme update 

We’ve had over a year of operating the copper withdrawal programme so far and we are seeing some good results. We are now getting ready to move all programme trial operations into our BAU business and currently expect to have that completed by the end of 2022. We still have a few things to trial and determine if we can further improve the processes that will be running alongside planning and handover activities.  

 

Stats so far are:

  • 100 cabinets have been fully withdrawn
  • 13,000 copper services notified  
  • We have also initiated activity to migrate Smart Locations services in areas where we are withdrawing copper – this is still being trialled but going well
  • A batch focusing on addresses where fibre is already installed (intact ONT) is also underway.       

 

FY23 volumes plan – high level

Our high-level plan for this financial year is to migrate approximately 15,000 services spread across 6 batches (a batch every two months) with around 2,500 services per batch. This is an increase of around 500 services per batch.  

These batches will include 800 cabinets, 6 exchanges and some network maintenance areas. We will also be including addresses where an intact ONT has been in place but not used for a given timeframe.   

 

Stop Sell and new copper orders

We issue ‘Stop Sell’ notices for every batch we do. These mean that we are withdrawing copper and no new services can be requested. Our systems have the address and network nodes blocked for new services and they will return a prequalification result of ‘no copper available’ or if an order is still submitted the order will be declined.    

Re-iterating our process: Once a copper stop sell has been issued, we will not be allowing new copper requests to progress. Please refrain from sending these requests through. 

 

Support and assistance 

As the trial batches continue, a larger proportion of consumers are leaving migration to later in the notice period, and in some cases until after it has lapsed. We would appreciate if you could help them to migrate to an alternative service and complete this within the 6-month notice period. This would ensure that they have continued service after the ‘end of notice period’ date.

Sometimes our copper address data doesn’t match up with your customers’ actual address. In these scenarios, it is harder for us to deliver notices to the correct address. To help solve the issue, we need your assistance to verify the address of the service. The sooner we get this information back, the better we can manage the batch impacts. We would appreciate your early responses to these requests to avoid a poor customer experience. 

 

Disconnections 

After our workshops with you last year, we agree the most appropriate process would be for RSPs to issue a disconnection order in Wireline for users who have received Confirmation Notices and have not responded or taken action. Currently we provide you with 10-business days to contact, and/or disconnect these services. Our Confirmation Notices state that disconnections will take place from the withdrawal date onwards. We provide a 10-business day buffer for you to action these disconnections at your discretion.

If RSPs have not actioned a disconnection within the 10-business day timeframe, Chorus will issue a disconnection on our end. 

Due to the complexity of managing batches, we need to ensure our planned timeframes and cut off dates are maintained. A reminder that disconnections at this point in time are a last resort – the earlier we contact and migrate users to an alternate service, the less disruption to the customer’s service. 

 

Thank you for your support

Chorus and the copper withdrawal team would like to extend our thanks to all RSP teams that have worked with us over the last few years. It’s been a highly collaborative effort, and we wouldn’t have this many consumers migrating off copper without your support – thank you. We look forward to your continued support as we scale up, optimise and move our operations into BAU.

 

Contact

Get in touch with your account team if you have any questions or email our copper withdrawal team. You can find more information on our dedicated copper withdrawal web page.