Dear Customer,

As a result of Government restrictions across the UK and globally to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many of our suppliers are finding their operational activities severely impacted.

To keep our customers informed of how this affects our ability to provide products and services to you, we have put together a summarised update below.

We will provide updates as and when any items change.

Note that Orbex has successfully implemented our Business Continuity plans and now have 95% of staff working from home. As a result, our provisioning, support and billing teams are currently fully operational.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your Account Manager.

Yours sincerely,
Boris Gajic
Operations Director, Orbex Solutions

Below is a communication sent to the industry by Openreach yesterday (24.3.2020).

Openreach Communication Update


Declaration of Matter Beyond Our Reasonable Control (MBORC) on ALL products, effective 24th March 2020 23:59

Openreach provide much of the cabling infrastructure in the UK and engineering resource, the declaration of MBORC  is a contractual provision contained in all Openreach contracts which releases Openreach from liability under the relevant product terms and conditions in certain circumstances. The relief removes Openreach from any contractual SLAs and SLGs. The declaration affects all products taken directly from Openreach and will also affect those providers who rely on Openreach engineering to deliver their services.


The products affected include (and is not restricted to) the list below:

  • GEA (FTTC (including Gfast), FTTP (including Fibre-on-Demand), GEA Cablelink / SOGEA / SOGfast
  • Ethernet: EAD, EBD, Cablelink, Street Access, CCTV access, Broadcast Access, WES/WEES/BES (repair only), TDM Access Service
  • New Sites


Openreach will now prioritise only the essential work and absolutely minimise work that requires their 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 – Openreach 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)


With immediate effect:

  • Appointment books will be closed for new appointed provision with books moved out to 1st June 2020
  • Openreach will attempt to complete appointed in-flight 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 - Openreach are reviewing non urgent repair
  • Engineers will be asked NOT to enter the end customer premises and to enable/restore service where possible from outside of the premises
  • Openreach will ask CPs to help them identify Critical Network Infrastructure and vulnerable end customer tasks in order to prioritise these

What does this mean for delivery of Orbex products and services?

Ethernet Services

Orbex provide Ethernet services delivered from a number of carriers. At this moment in time, all carriers who utilise Openreach engineering for delivering their services will be affected by the Openreach MBORC declaration. The list of providers includes:

  • Openreach
  • TalkTalk Business
  • BT Wholesale
  • Vodafone

As per the MBORC declaration, priority will be given to the customer types listed above subject to resource availability.

At this moment in time Virgin Business are reporting services and repair is in place for 'On Net' services but business processes now include the advice given by the government on COVID-19 and the safety of their engineers.

We are actively chasing formal updates from COLT, CityFibre and SSE.


Broadband Services

As many of our Broadband services rely on the WLR service delivered by Openreach, provision and repair services will be affected by the Openreach MBORC declaration.

Openreach - Fixed and IP Number Porting (Affecting most UK number porting)


We have been informed this morning that the Openreach Number Portability helpdesk has been closed. This means that across the industry, it will not be possible to initiate any number ports, or get updates on the majority of your orders. We understand discussions are underway with Openreach, Other Licensed Operators (OLO) and the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA) to find a way forward.


Products affected:

  • Hosted Voice orders which require number porting
  • WLR involving number ports
  • Inbound number porting


As a result of the update from Openreach, Orbex will be making the following amendments to the porting process:

  • All ports placed to complete before 6th April 2020 will be cancelled and moved to after 6th April 2020
  • Please do not place any port orders with a completion date prior to 6th April 2020


In common with the rest of the industry, the Orbex Provisioning team will no longer be able to call BT directly regarding any porting issues. If you have any none urgent porting queries, please email these into the team at and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please note that the above is subject to change at short notice. We will continue to keep you updated with any changes as they happen.

Cloud PBX Provisioning and Hardware/Accessories

At present, the provisioning portals are fully operational and are available for new orders. Any orders that require number porting should be mindful of the current porting service restrictions in place across the industry (see porting section in this communication).

Our supply chain is still able to dispatch hardware, and we will be monitoring the availability of postal and courier services closely.

We are currently experiencing high levels of demand for both IP phones and accessories. As a result, with immediate effect, we will be limiting the number of Power Supply Units (PSU) to 5 per complete order. At present, there is a good stock levels of all IP phones and headsets, however, we do need to advise that delivery may be delayed at this exceptionally busy time.


O2 Migrations

We have been advised that there is an issue at O2 affecting the whole industry, that may prevent or delay migrations on their network. This is due to network support centres, who oversee these changes, being based in India where staff are affected by a lockdown in place due to the COVID-19 risk. We do not have any specific information around when the issue might be fixed at this stage, but it will be worth delaying any migrations and managing customer expectations wherever possible until a further update can be provided.

O2 SIM Shortage

We have recently seen an increased demand for stock of O2 SIM cards. We currently have limited stock and are not expecting any further deliveries of additional O2 SIMS until 12th April.


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