Important update – Openreach stop sell at selected Exchanges

Important update – Openreach stop sell at selected Exchanges

Simon Leather, Head of TTB Product Development

Simon Leather, Head of TTB Product Development

Openreach stop sell at selected Exchanges



Openreach is building full fibre to the premises (FTTP) to more than 25 million premises by the end of 2026. TalkTalk is fully committed to supporting our Partners with the transition to a full-fibre, all-IP future using Openreach access supplemented with alternative fibre networks. 

The exponential growth in full fibre availability has led Openreach to notify Communication Providers of its intent to begin retiring legacy access technologies and services on an exchange-by-exchange basis. In parallel they are withdrawing their legacy Voice infrastructure which supports their Wholesale Line Rental services (WLR). This will affect the availability of TalkTalk’s Wholesale and Managed Broadband access services at selected exchanges.

There are two types of Stop Sell and Withdrawal that have been announced by Openreach:

1. FTTP Priority Exchange Stop Sell and Withdrawal.

These are exchanges where all copper-based services are put into Stop Sell where FTTP is available at a premise. Stop sell is triggered when FTTP coverage has reached 75% of premises in the Exchange area.


2. WLR Stop Sell and Withdrawal

WLR and WLR based broadband products are to be placed under National Stop Sell in September 2023 and fully withdrawn by September 2025.


FTTP Priority Exchange Stop Sell and Withdrawal

FTTP Priority stop sell applies to new orders for copper lines (WLR and MPF) and copper-based connectivity (ADSL, FTTC, SOGEA, G.Fast and SoGFAST) if the applicable premise has availability for FTTP.

Where FTTP is not available, copper lines as well as copper-based broadband products can still be ordered as usual.

These restrictions will also apply to moves, adds and changes of existing lines. Migrations between providers and upgrades of existing lines to other copper-based products e.g. ADSL to FTTC upgrades as well as speed changes on FTTC, for example 40 to 80Mbps modify orders, will no longer be supported.

If a premise is enabled for FTTP provisioning after the stop sell is already in effect, then the stop sell restrictions immediately come into effect.

Existing copper-based services provisioned before the stop sell comes into effect will continue to be supported and must be moved to an alternative product prior to the End-of-Life date.

The first FTTP exchange to go into Stop Sell was the trial exchange, Salisbury where the Stop Sell commenced on December 1st 2020. The End-of-Life date for Salisbury is 16th December 2022.

Openreach is following this initial trial with further stop sell activity at various tranches of exchanges starting from 29th June 2021. Openreach is announcing further tranches of Stop Sell exchanges on a quarterly basis.


When will the stop sell commence?

The first stage of each FTTP Priority exchange copper withdrawal is for a stop sell to be imposed for all NEW provides. This will be followed by a full product withdrawal “End-of-Life” of all existing lines on impacted products.

The relevant dates for each exchange are below. NB. Openreach previously announced that Tranche 1 would impact 117 exchanges but, due to the negative impact of Covid-19 causing FTTP provisioning delays during the Salisbury trial, Tranche 1 has now been split between the original date of 29th of June (Tranche 1a) and the previously announced date for tranche 2 (Tranche 1b). Tranche 1b and 2 will now commence together on 5th October.

The End-of-Life dates for tranche 1a onwards have not yet been announced by Openreach and are subject to consultation between Openreach and Ofcom that is unlikely to complete until Autumn 2021. There will, however, be at least 2 years between the Stop Sell Date and the End-of-Life date.


 Stop Sell Exchanges

For full details of the Openreach briefing, including a link to the impacted exchange list, please click here.


TalkTalk Wholesale Services is committed to supporting our Partners with the leap to full fibre

TalkTalk Wholesale Services has launched FTTP Managed Broadband services to both exploit the growing availability of FTTP, and support Partners in transitioning customers impacted by stop sells at FTTP Priority exchanges. The service is available via our new FTTP ordering portal and complemented by APIs to support Sales and Provisioning journey automation. We will also be making Wholesale (Layer 2) FTTP services available shortly.

TalkTalk Wholesale Services will support Partners with transitioning their customers to an all-IP future by providing a single line PSTN VoIP solution. This will be available in Summer 2021.

If you would like to be onboarded for Managed FTTP services or would like to register your interest for the Wholesale trial, please contact your Account Manager.


WLR Stop Sell and Withdrawal

Openreach have also announced the Nationwide Stop Sell of WLR and associated broadband products from September 2023 with the intention to End of Life these services by September 2025.

MPF (or MPF-based FTTC) is not in scope for WLR national stop sell.

Mildenhall is the WLR closure trial exchange which went into Stop Sell on 4th May 2021. This small-scale trial is intended to test the withdrawal of copper-based products and a transition to either FTTP or single order products (SOGEA or SOGFAST).

Mildenhall’s stop sell rules are different to those of the full national WLR stop sell, planned for September 2023, in that MPF copper lines and MPF-based connectivity products have also been included in this stop sell.

Mildenhall stop sell came into effect on 4th May 2021. Where SOGEA or SOGFAST is available, WLR and MPF copper lines and traditional copper-based connectivity (ADSL, FTTC, and G.Fast) is not available for new supply. These restrictions also apply to moves, adds and changes of existing lines. CP to CP migrations and upgrades of existing lines to other copper-based products e.g. ADSL to FTTC upgrades as well as speed changes on FTTC e.g. 40 to 80Mbps modify orders are no longer supported.

The End-of-Life date for Mildenhall is 1st December 2022. All WLR and MPF lines within premises that have SOGEA or SOGFAST availability must be moved to one of these products before then.

Once the National WLR stop sell comes into effect in September 2023 the above provisioning rules apply with the exception that the restrictions are limited to WLR and associated connectivity products only. It will still be possible to order MPF copper lines and MPF-based connectivity products irrespective of whether SOGEA is available, including ADSL, FTTC and G.Fast.

Existing WLR-based services that are provisioned before the stop sell comes into effect will continue to be supported until September 2025 and must be moved to an alternative product before then.

TalkTalk Wholesale Services are currently developing SOGEA products to be used in the Partner channel and will be inviting Partners to participate in trials in 2022. The TalkTalk single line VoIP solution will be available for Managed Partners to run over the top of SOGEA lines.


TalkTalk Wholesale Services Availability Checkers

All current TalkTalk Availability Checkers (Portals and APIs) will show the correct product availability on stop sell exchanges and advise where copper-based products are no longer available.

The latest version of the Network Product Availability Checker (NPAC v47) includes additional stop sell information related to the exchange. This is available via the TalkTalk Portal or via API.


 Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) is of key importance

With Stop Sell well underway, it is important for Partners to analyse the impact to Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) locations within stop sell exchanges. CNI is a subset of Stop Sell data and should be a focus for Partners to ensure a smooth transition for customers.

TalkTalk Wholesale Services would like to work with our Partners to help you to identify your customer CNI lines and work through the analysis steps with you. We have been analysing our lines and are at a point where we can share more data and insight for those with CNI services that will be affected by Stop Sell.

If you would like to know if our CNI data can help you and your customers, please get in touch with your Account Manager who will be more than happy to share this with you.


We're here to help you with your analysis and next step of planning

TalkTalk Wholesale Services remain committed to supporting you and your customers, if you have any further queries or would like more information on how we can help with your Stop Sell and CNI analysis requirements, please do not hesitate to contact your Account or Service Manager.