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Coronavirus: Keeping your business connected

Last updated: [27/04/2020 17:00]


We’ve put measures in place across the business so that we can deal with any issues arising as a result of the outbreak and we’re constantly reassessing our position as this situation evolves.


What our coronavirus measures mean for your business

We have business continuity and incident management plans and processes in place, and we’re constantly reappraising our position as more information becomes available. Our plans include maintaining critical business processes as our first priority. We have certain responsibilities to support the UK Critical National Infrastructure whatever the incident or emergency.  


Your Account Manager can share with you our specific operational plans for our channel partners which detail how we’re supporting you and your teams across the Wholesale portfolio. You can find out in more detail:

  • How we’re managing staffing levels and making adjustments to mitigate any potential risk
  • How we’re equipping our teams with appropriate hardware and software to facilitate remote working outside of BT locations should this be necessary
  • How we propose to manage customer site visits should any be impacted through the virus.


Openreach closures – and the support we offer you

Openreach has announced that their engineers will not carry out any work at customer premises, unless they’re part of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) of the UK. This decision will impact the services we can provide, and certain products may not be available. This is an industry-wide issue, not just affecting BT.


Our number one priority is to ensure that businesses and essential public services stay connected whilst protecting the health and wellbeing of our colleagues. We fully support Openreach’s decision, as this change will help protect us all.


We understand this could cause problems for you, but we do have plenty of products that won’t require an Openreach engineer. Your Account Manager can help guide you through what may be the best option to support you over the next few weeks and until this situation changes.


For the latest updates on operational changes please keep reviewing the My briefings section on the BT Wholesale portal. We’ll keep you up to date with our plans as things develop. 


Delays to number porting

We're pleased to confirm both BT Wholesale and Openreach have agents back online with sufficient numbers to manage current demand. Should there be any change in this position, we'll let you know.


The network to support home working

We have rigorous processes and procedures in place to protect the resilience and stability of our key networks, ensuring that we can meet all of our customers' requirements, capacity and critical changes in a controlled environment

We’re monitoring the capacity of our phone and internet services to handle an increase in home working and keep our networks running as normal. Our network is designed to handle a 17Tb/s evening peak in consumer traffic with daytime business use around only a quarter of that – which is why we’re confident we’re able to support mass-scale home working. 


Single non emergency number 101 rate change

Following the request from the Home Office to make non-emergency 101 police service calls free of charge for consumers, we can confirm we won’t charge our reseller customers for calls to 101 with immediate effect.


This includes our voice service tariffs for Wholesale Calls, Wholesale Hosted Communications (WHC), IPVS, Wholesale SIP Trunking (WSIPT), Avaya Cloud Solutions (ACS), and Hosted Contact Centres (HCC). 


By zero-rating this service we hope it will help manage the impact on the critical 999 service.


New COVID-19 non-emergency number 119.

Following the government announcement of a new non-emergency number 119 to be available from Monday 27 April and its request for it to be a 'free to caller' service, we can confirm that BT Wholesale will not charge our reseller customer for calls to 119 in voice service tariffs. 


This includes: Wholesale Calls, Wholesale Hosted Communications (WHC), IP Voice Services (IPVS), Wholesale SIP Trunking (WSIPT), Avaya Cloud Solutions (ACS), and Hosted Contact Centres (HCC), to enable support of the request.


Remote working during the coronavirus outbreak

We know coronavirus could be impacting your business and that following recent Government guidance you're likely to need to restrict travel for your teams and to work remotely. This is where technology can make the difference.


We’re helping customers by making sure they can continue to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers – as if they’re still in the office. We’ve been upgrading network capacity, and implementing extra meeting and collaboration tools to meet this demand. Where there’s a need to implement or increase remote working, we’re making sure you have the right collaboration tools in place to support your customers. 


Remote working solutions for your customers

We’re offering a free WHC Foundational Licence, including UC add-ons, until the 30th September 2020. This licence is available now to order. 

Additionally we are offering new WHC resellers free customer establishment so they can take advantage of this offer. WHC is an easy to deploy cloud telecoms solution with no bespoke hardware needed, meaning you have the tools you need to get a remote working solution in place quickly.

We are also putting new measures in place to support you in providing flexible and agile solutions for your customers. We’re offering support with monthly payments for your WHC Centrex and SIP services, alongside additional benefits to support with capacity demand and access for working remotely. 

How to get your licences


Supporting network flexibility

We're waiving the Etherflow modify charge within existing Etherways so you can flex bandwidth at a time when customers need support the most. While open to everyone it is ideal to offer to CNI customers and those with essential services to deliver.

Find out more


How you can find out more

Your Account Manager is your first point of contact, and is well placed to answer any questions you may have. They can advise on providing critical services for your customers if appropriate. And if you’d like to take advantage of our remote working offer, they can help you do so. 


If you’re affected by the impact of Covid-19, please reach out to us. We’re on hand to support you and your business through what is a challenging period for us all.