Following recent government advice on limiting movement to essential activities only, and further restrictions imposed by numerous parties on delivery of new infrastructure, this blog post aims to highlight the environment we’re now working in, and how it affects the quoting, ordering and delivery of Janet connectivity services.
Note that the majority of the information in this blog applies to the Janet IP and Intersite connectivity services where the installation of physical infrastructure is required. The Netpath and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute services can often be provisioned as virtual connectivity over exiting physical infrastructure, so might be exempt from the restrictions detailed below.
The Global Connect service is largely based on connectivity in other countries so isn’t affected by the restrictions we’re seeing in the UK, but may still be affected by similar constraints in other countries.
For context, some of the specific restrictions we’re seeing are as follows:
- Data centres and customer sites are limiting access to essential work only, which is largely regarded as fixing faults rather than delivery of new infrastructure. We’re also seeing a lot of customer sites on total lockdown with no access being permitted for any reason.
- Openreach has announced a number of different measures over the past few days, which to our understanding equates to the following:
- No new orders are being processed now until _at least_ June 2020.
- All existing orders will be completed as much as possible, but any work required in customer sites is likely to be postponed until further notice.
- Faults will continue to be fixed, but in the context of customer sites only if it’s safe to do so.
- The exception to all of the above is around delivery of infrastructure to ‘critical services’, such as the NHS, which will take priority over everything else.
- We’ve placed a number of restrictions on Janet engineers regarding their method and duration of travel.
There may be edge cases where underlying infrastructure required to fulfil a customer connectivity requirement is already ‘in the ground’ and the service can be delivered via soft config changes rather than any extensive engineering activity in the field. If this applies to you, well done, you’re one of the lucky ones, but for the vast majority of customers and requirements the conditions described below will apply.
You can still request quotes for connectivity services, and we can still provide pricing, that hasn’t changed. So if you have a requirement for connectivity and would like a quote, or if you just need some costs for budgetary purposes, please ask either your Account Manager or our Quotes Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) who’ll be happy to assist.
Once we’ve provided you with a quote, you can still place an order with us for the relevant service(s). No change there.
This is where things have changed. Due to restrictions imposed by Openreach (our main partner for circuit delivery) on installation of new services, and the tightening of permissions to access Janet network points of presence and customer sites, delivery of new connectivity services is going to take a lot longer than usual. As a guide, delivery of services quoted and ordered this month (March 2020) shouldn’t be expected until October 2020, and could be later than that if further restrictions are imposed.
UPDATE 27/03/2020: Regarding orders currently ‘in flight’ (i.e. placed before restrictions were applied), we’re still seeing delivery activities being undertaken by Openreach and other suppliers, and in some cases circuits are being completed and handed over to us. In that situation, we’ll then proceed with bringing new connections into service, as long all work required at both the Janet PoP end and the customer end can be done via ‘remote hands’ by the PoP host and the customer, with Janet engineers carrying out all support and config tasks remotely.