Service Announcement

Business Update – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

31/03/2020

Rainbow Communications delivers an essential service and as such, we are doing everything in our power to continue to deliver service and to provide support to all our customers.

However, these are very difficult times and we wanted to make you aware of some of the challenges being faced throughout the industry and which will impact our ability to provide our normal service to you.

Current Status:

Rainbow continues to operate with an essential team in its Head Office – this team is assisted by our home-workers, who have access to all resources, enabling them to support you and your business, meaning you will continue to have access to all the technical and engineering support normally available from Rainbow.

Third Party Suppliers

Please see changes to Openreach procedures below, including delays in number porting for both geographic and non-geographic numbers.

Openreach will use the following priority principles:

  • Bluelight services
  • Critical national infrastructure
  • Welfare customers
  • Covid-19 at risk
  • Customers with no service – repair (total loss of service) and provisioning (new line where none exist)
  • Customers with significantly degraded service
  • Customers with intermittent service
  • Other repair and provisioning jobs

Engineer Visits

From Openreach’s statement on the 18 March 2020, stating:

  • Engineers are asked to avoid close human contact with end customers where possible whilst ensuring customers have a working service (working voice and broadband at reasonable speed)
  • Engineering work will first be done outside of the customer’s premises to try to enable working service
  • All non-appointed work will finish at the external point nearest to the premises
  • Appointed work will finish where possible at the nearest point to the premises unless the engineer is unable to get a working service
  • If an engineer cannot get working service outside of the premises, they can enter if they feel it is safe and after asking two questions as previously communicated:
    • Has anyone in the premises been diagnosed with COVID-19, has been asked to self-isolate, or has been travelling to a coronavirus high-risk area or country in the last 14 days?
    • Is anyone in the premises suffering from flu-like symptoms?

Given the recent changes in Health England guidelines, Openreach have changed their engineer guidance:

  • If the answer to either of those questions is yes, the engineer will not enter the premises and the job will be furthered for reappointment four weeks later.
  • If the answer to both questions is no the engineer will enter the premises taking additional precautions (such as asking the end customer to vacate to another room)
  • Time in the premises will be limited to providing service to the NTE – additional work such as removing bridge taps, NTE shifts, internal wiring/additional cabling, etc will not be done.
  • Special arrangements are being put in place for vulnerable customers.

Desk Based Teams

  • Until further notice, Openreach are taking the unprecedented decision to close our non-critical contact channels. Openreach will maintain their critical Damage, Welfare & DSO to ensure public safety and our vulnerable customers are supported but the channels listed in the table below for provision and repair will be closed.
Openreach Critical Functions
DamageOpen
WelfareOpen
DSOOpen
ProductRepairProvision
Escalations (EPOC)No new work accepted for next 7 days
Premium Business HelpdeskNo new work accepted for next 7 days
WLRClosedClosed
LLUClosedClosed
FTTCClosedClosed
SOGEAClosedClosed
GFASTClosedClosed
SOGFASTClosedClosed
Migration ServicesClosedClosed
ISDNOpen/Limited serviceOpen/Limited service
FTTPOpenOpen
EthernetOpenOpen

Number Portability

Openreach also advised that the Number Portability helpdesk has been closed.  This means that it will not be possible to initiate any number ports, or get updates on the majority of orders. Openreach, Other Licensed Operators (OLO) and the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA) are working to find a way forward to enable this service to continue.

Rainbow’s Special Measures
As outlined in our ‘Current Status’ Rainbow has worked hard to comply with Government and HSE Guidelines, whilst ensuring essential services for customers. Our team of engineers, support desk and IT staff continue to work both in the office and at home to ensure we can return to ‘Business as Normal’ as quickly as possible.

Contact and availability

24/03/2020

We continue to review and amend our working practices in line with the government and HSC (Public Health Northern Ireland) guidelines, to ensure that we are making effective decisions in line with daily news and status updates.

Current Status: Business as usual

As an essential service, Rainbow continues to operate as normal, but we are experiencing a extremely high demand for service, so you may experience longer waiting times for your call to be answered. You can email our customer services team at customerservice@rainbowcomms.com, and they will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Where we use third parties to deliver services, they may adopt changing working practices to help protect their staff.

Please see changes to Openreach procedures below.

Openreach

Engineer Visits

From Openreach’s statement on the 18 March 2020, stating:

  • Engineers are asked to avoid close human contact with end customers where possible whilst ensuring customers have a working service (working voice and broadband at reasonable speed)
  • Engineering work will first be done outside of the customer’s premises to try to enable working service
  • All non-appointed work will finish at the external point nearest to the premises
  • Appointed work will finish where possible at the nearest point to the premises unless the engineer is unable to get a working service
  • If an engineer cannot get working service outside of the premises, they can enter if they feel it is safe and after asking two questions as previously communicated:
    • Has anyone in the premises been diagnosed with COVID-19, has been asked to self-isolate, or has been travelling to a coronavirus high-risk area or country in the last 14 days?
    • Is anyone in the premises suffering from flu-like symptoms?

Given the recent changes in Health England guidelines, Openreach have decided to change their engineer guidance from today (24 March 2020):

  • If the answer to either of those questions is yes, the engineer will not enter the premises and the job will be furthered for reappointment four weeks later
  • If the answer to both questions is no the engineer will enter the premises taking additional precautions (such as asking the end customer to vacate to another room)
  • Time in the premises will be limited to providing service to the NTE – additional work such as removing bridge taps, NTE shifts, internal wiring/additional cabling, etc will not be done.
  • Special arrangements are being put in place for vulnerable customers and we will contact you specifically to align our processes

Desk Based Teams

  • Until further notice, Openreach are taking the unprecedented decision to close our non-critical contact channels. We will maintain our critical Damage, Welfare & DSO to ensure public safety and our vulnerable customers are supported but the channels listed in the table below for provision and repair will be closed.
Openreach Critical Functions
DamageOpen
WelfareOpen
DSOOpen
ProductRepairProvision
Escalations (EPOC)No new work accepted for next 7 days
Premium Business HelpdeskNo new work accepted for next 7 days
WLRClosedClosed
LLUClosedClosed
FTTCClosedClosed
SOGEAClosedClosed
GFASTClosedClosed
SOGFASTClosedClosed
Migration ServicesClosedClosed
ISDNOpen/Limited serviceOpen/Limited service
FTTPOpenOpen
EthernetOpenOpen

 

Rainbow’s Special Measures
We would like to advise you that at this time, there is no anticipated need for special measures to be put in to place and you should continue to contact us in the normal way.

Contact and availability

16/03/2020

We’d like to reassure you that we are monitoring and following the guidelines set out by the government, HSC (Public Health Northern Ireland) and other sources regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, to ensure that we are making effective decisions in line with daily news and status updates.

Current status: Business as usual.

Rainbow Communications continues to operate as normal.  Our engineering team will continue to attend site to provide installation services and to deal with faults.

Where we use third parties to deliver services, they may adopt changing working practices to help protect their staff. Please see changes to Openreach procedures below.

Openreach

Openreach have advised they are making some simple changes to engineering procedures. Going forwards 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.

We are also

  • Actively monitoring our systems, service and our people continually.
  • The senior management team convenes daily to discuss, update and review.
  • As and when new advice is released, we will adapt our strategy with any necessary changes and provide updates.

 Rainbow’s Business Continuity Plan

Rainbow has a robust Business Continuity Plan that will enable us to continue to provide services, should the situation arise. Measures include:

  1. Rainbow has the ability to replicate the office environment for our staff on the operational, account management and sales side of the business, enabling them to work from home.
  2. Rainbow Communications has been in active dialogue with our out of hours service provider, who provide evening, weekend and public holiday support. The supplier provides both office-based resource and home working provision. The balance and nature of this resource is flexible such that Rainbow Communications can meet the needs of our customers at all times.

Special Measures
We would like to advise you that at this time, there is no anticipated need for special measures to be put in to place and you should continue to contact us in the normal way.

Risk management
We are following the relevant guidelines and Senior Management meet  daily to assess any changes in these fast changing, unprecedented times.

We continue to consider our customers, colleagues and stakeholders and to review the service and resource accordingly.

Contact and availability

Call us now and find out more