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Best p ractice g uide - Address Management. 15 May 2014 Issue 1.3. Document History. Slide 2. Introduction Purpose of this guide.

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introduction purpose of this guide
Introduction Purpose of this guide

This best practice guide provides key information on how to manage addresses when interacting with Openreach to ensure your customer receives the service they have ordered and where required, will also help ensure a successful engineering visit. The guide is aimed at the CP’s business analysts, IT designers, product and process specialists.

When followed, this guide will help to reduce the likelihood of customer “no access” or readiness issues and assist our engineers to deliver the service that you have requested and will also reduce delays within the process. This guide will also highlight the importance of end user address information toensure that the emergency services database is accurate for all your WLR3 assets which Openreach has responsibility for onward passing the data provided by you (passing of data for LLU and FVA remains the CP’s responsibility).

The guide covers address management throughout the provision journey and includes best practice across our product portfolios - Wholesale Line Rental (WLR), Local Loop Unbundling (LLU-MPF), Generic Ethernet Access FTTC (GEA- FTTC), Generic Ethernet Access FTTP (GEA-FTTP) , Fibre Voice Access (FVA), Ethernet Access Direct (EAD) and Ethernet Backhaul Direct (EBD).

Step-by-step, the guide will take you through the key address related information that you should capture as a Communications Provider (CP) at the point of sale to submit to Openreach including:

  • Searching for and matching an address
  • How to structure and create a new address into Openreach systems (excludes GEA-FTTC, GEA-FTTP Greenfield/Brownfield and FVA)
  • Updating existing addresses held against an asset

The quality of the address captured will also impact your use of dependent dialogue services that will detail both the available services and line plant availability at an address that could impact the type of order you place and the lead time.

There is also a section for your development and IT teams to ensure information that is captured by your agents is transmitted to us accurately within the relevant fields.

Slide 3

introduction openreach address matching dialogue service
Introduction Openreach Address Matching Dialogue Service

Address Matching is a pre-order Dialogue Service exposed to CPs which helps to streamline the ordering process by using addresses recognised by Openreach systems, or by creating temporary addresses. This dialogue service queries the Openreach NAD system and presents addresses known to Openreach and addresses in the Postal Address File (PAF) which are unknown to Openreach in order to identify whether a service request is against an existing known/matched or new address.

  • Search Address – Provides a list of addresses that match the criteria (up to a maximum of 200 records)
  • Match Address – A unique matching of address data (not recommended and excluded from this guide)
  • Get Address Details – Provides details of the address key (not recommended and excluded from this guide)
  • Add Address – Creates a temporary address key where a match cannot be found (excludes GEA-FTTC, GEA-FTTP Greenfield/Brownfield and FVA)

When querying the address functionality we will return all addresses meeting your criteria and each address will be associated with a unique reference known as an “Address key” which in turn allows the CP to place an order.

There are three possible address keys:

  • A “Gold key” is returned when an address is known within the NAD, and indicates an address which is or has been historically served by Openreach or has a pre-designed association to an Openreach network. A Gold key has an associated technology flag to indicate the network associations at a specific address and is generated by Openreach.
  • “Silver Qualifier” returned when an address is not recognised within the NAD but is identified by the PAF against which a temporary “Silver key” will need to be created. A Silver key is automatically generated by Openreach when the CP requests for a temporary key by selecting a silver qualifier. A Silver key will only be created for Copper and Ethernet products not for fibre-only greenfield sites.
  • When there is no Gold key or a Silver qualifier, a temporary “Bronze key” can be created for an unknown address (e.g. a brownfield site that hasn’t been recognised within the NAD or PAF). A Bronze key is generated by Openreach against the address created by the CP and can only be created for Copper and Ethernet products, not fibre-only greenfield sites.

Slide 4

introduction openreach address matching dialogue service openreach technology markers
Introduction Openreach Address Matching Dialogue Service - Openreach Technology markers

A Technology marker defines whether the premises has an association with the given technology infrastructure(s). The associations given can guide you in your choice of address for the desired product or service. Technology markers are only available on a Gold key; there will be no technology markers for Silver and Bronze addresses.

Throughout this guide, any reference to Silver, Bronze or temporary keys will apply to Copper, Ethernet and FTTP on Demand  (FoD) products only and a Gold key applies to all products.


Copper based products are available at GEA-FTTP Brownfield sites but not at GEA-FTTP Greenfield areas.

FTTP on Demand  (FoD) can be ordered with a Gold, Silver or Bronze key to a premises that is served by a FTTC enabled cabinet in a FoD enabled exchange, and all orders are subject to survey

FVA can only be ordered where GEA-FTTP Brownfield or Greenfield is available (but FTTP service does not have to be in situ) and with a FTTP Gold key.

Slide 5

point of sale introduction
Point of Sale Introduction

The most important thing is for the address to be correct at the point of sale in order to ensure that the service is delivered correctly to the right premises, on the day required. The user (CP agent) should ask themselves if they are satisfied that they could easily find the premises with the address data they have provided.

Before going into detail, it is important to recognise that, whilst the use of a Gold key against the main address may appear to speed up order entry and lead times, the absence of any relevant flat number or sub-premises detail, may result in the engineer being unable to locate the customer or the service being provided to the wrong premises.

When requesting a service into a complex address, such as a multi-occupancy building e.g. flat, unit or a house that has been recently divided, it is important that all the relevant low level address details are captured accurately. In the house divided example, please do not select ‘1 The Close’ just to select a Gold key, if the actual address is now ‘1a or 1b The Close’.

Openreach maintains a version of the Postal Address File (updated monthly) and exposes these to customers as Silver addresses, and should only be used when a relevant Gold key is not returned. Only when you cannot find a Gold or Silver key, will you need to create a Bronze key.

Our process of address management also covers the area of “New Sites” where the premises has been built or re-developed on a greenfield or brownfield site; orders placed at these premises may be subject to longer lead times or in the case of fibre-only new sites subject to restrictions and this guide will provide guidelines on how you select the appropriate address.

Openreach has a range of character limitations with particular attributes within an address, and this guide will explain how you can get the best out of our address matching solutions and how you can structure new addresses when creating temporary address keys that in turn would minimiseorder delays and ensure that the emergency services database is accurate for all your assets, including WLR3.

Slide 6

point of sale structuring a bronze key to paf standards
Point of Sale Structuring a Bronze key to PAF standards

What good looks like

What bad looks like

Example illustrated via the Portal – same principles apply to B2B

Example illustrated via the Portal – same principles apply to B2B

Use of special characters

Data within incorrect fields

Postcode without separator

Slide 19

it design emergency services database esdb
IT Design Emergency Services Database (ESDB)
  • The address information you provide will be used by the Police, Fire and Ambulance and by BT to provide the 999 service which allows the caller to contact emergency services for urgent assistance. It is not an overstatement to say that accurate address information can and does save lives. Ofcom recognises this and is working with industry to monitor this address quality. General Condition 4 refers to the provision of address data to the Emergency Services:
  • “The Communications Provider shall, to the extent technically feasible, make accurate and reliable Caller Location Information available for all calls to the emergency call numbers “112” and “999”, at no charge to the Emergency Organisations handling those calls, at the time the call is answered by those organisations.”
  • When you provide Openreach with a customer’s name and address we pass it to BT’s 999 Call Handling Service. They in turn use that information to route 999 calls when they are made and to pass the location on to the emergency authority (EA). From the 999 service’s point of view and in rough descending order of importance the information they need is:
  • 1) Post code – this routes the call to the EA serving that geography and is used by the EA to locate the caller
  • 2) Premises – coupled with the postcode can usually uniquely locate the caller
  • 3) Name for:
    • Consumer - the person most likely to make the call (not always the bill payer). If the ‘premises’ are wrong, neighbours can help locate by name.
    • Business - the ‘name above the shop door’ as it’s easier to locate ‘PC World’ on a retail park than ‘Unit 3’.
  • Please note that it is the CP’s responsibility to maintain the accuracy of the address information. For WLR3, Openreach takes responsibility only for passing the address information to the Emergency Services Database and for MPF it the CP’s responsibility to pass the address information to the Emergency Services Database. As Openreach does not have visibility of the Caller Line Identification (CLI) details for FVA service, similar to the way MPF is operated, it is the CP’s responsibility to ensure the correct address information is always lodged with the Emergency Services Database for FVA.

Slide 23

it design best practice for the design community
IT Design Best Practice for the Design Community

As our CP customer IT design community, you have the ability to ensure the solutions work effectively and efficiently end to end. You share responsibility for increasing the success of these solutions from the first customer contact, to the service being provided and billed.

The slides that follow highlight key information that your agents can capture in the correct fields to pass them onto Openreach.It is very important to note that each of these fields have character length limitations and any extra characters you may provide will get truncated and important information may not reach our engineers. Hence it is key that you highlight to your agents, where possible, that they have exceeded the character length limit for a specific field.

If you are a B2B CP, you need to refer to the XML definition document which Openreach publishes as part of release documentation. If you are a portal CP, most of these character length validations will be carried out by the portal during your order journey.

Slide 24

examples of address fields
Examples of Address fields

Dependent Thoroughfare Name

A dependent thoroughfare name is necessary when a thoroughfare (street) name exists more than once within a town, and the additional information will uniquely identify each one.

Double Dependent Locality

Exists when a thoroughfare exists twice within the same dependent locality. In this case, the thoroughfare needs to be identified by a further locality i.e. the double dependent locality.

Slide 26

examples of address fields1
Examples of Address fields

Dependent Thoroughfare / Double Dependent Locality / Coordinates

Organisation Name


Dependent Thoroughfare


Double Dependent Locality


Post Town


Easting (X)

Northing (Y)

Acme Services Ltd


Diamond Business Park

Sandwash Close

Rainford Industrial Estate


St Helens

WA11 8LU





Sub building

Building Name


Post town



Flat 1

Chandlers Court

Briton Street



SO14 3EY

Sub Building

A building or property or site that has been sub divided. When this information has been specified, an associated building name or number should also be specified. E.g. Caretaker’s Flat, 10B, Flat 1

Slide 27

it design structure and mapping of an address across systems
IT Design Structure and mapping of an address across systems

CP System

Openreach System

Emergency Services Database

Dialogue Service Character Length

ESDB (999) Character Length

CSS Character Length

If SubPremises + Premises exceed 60 char, then the data is truncated from the end of Premises

Premises Name




OrganisationName is added into SubPremisesor Premises field if needed to uniquely identify the address. If it exceeds the character length, it will be truncated to fit within the allowed limit



Sub Premises




Sub Premises

Organisation Name

If ThoroughfareNumber + ThoroughfareName exceed 55 char, then data is truncated from end of Thoroughfare Name


Thoroughfare Number


Thoroughfare Number



If ThoroughfareName + DependentThoroughfare exceed 55 char, ThoroughfareName will be truncated


Thoroughfare Name


Thoroughfare Name



Dependent Thoroughfare

If DoubleDependentLocality + Locality exist, we will retain DoubleDependentLocality within the Locality field

If Locality + Post Town exceed 30 char, Post Town will be omitted. If Locality exceeds 30 char, then it will be truncated to 30






Double Dependent Locality




Post Town


Post Town





Post Code




Post Code

Post Code





This slide illustrates the character length limits in various field s within Openreach systems and the Emergency Services Database, due to which, Openreach needs to make certain adjustments to the address data received from PAF or CPs.

Slide 28

appendix glossary and definitions
Appendix Glossary and Definitions

Greenfield Site

It is a new build or housing development (a New Site) where no BT Network has previously been deployed. Planned network infrastructure can be Fibre-only, Copper-only or both Fibre and Copper.

Brownfield Site

It is a existing commercial or residential location where there is existing Openreach Copper Network infrastructure.

Scottish Tenement

There is no official description of Tenement, but it is very similar in its characteristics to a block of flats. They would have a shared stair well and would be split into separate flats.   A tenement would have an address record for each flat within the property. The term would also only be used in a residential capacity as well.

The phrase ‘multiple occupancy’ might be used in the way that a halls of residence functions, i.e. multiple student flats in one block but have a shared delivery point and therefore might be one record within a gazetteer.

There is no specified ‘standard’ for numbering.

Welsh addresses

Addresses in Wales can be recorded in English only, Welsh only or a combination of both if a bilingual gazetteer is available. They should conform to BS7666 / National Land & Property Gazetteer (NLPG)standards for England/Wales.

Whilst Openreach stores Welsh addresses in their original format, we can only guarantee their accuracy and spelling in English. We recommend that English addresses are used instead of Welsh addresses.

Slide 29

appendix sub premises exception as of 27 june 2013
Appendix Sub Premises – exception as of 27 June 2013

Below is a list of exceptional postcodes in Great Britain which contain “/” and the number of instances they occur as highlighted under “Count”. You need to be aware of this when structuring temporary address keys, although we do not recommend hard coding “/” in your systems as the list of exceptions could change.


Slide 30

appendix special characters that can be used in structuring an address
Appendix Special characters that can be used in structuring an address

Below is a list of special characters which are valid to be used while creating an address. If you use any other special characters, it is very likely that your order will be delayed or cancelled.

Slide 31

appendix address returned in kci3 notification
Appendix Address returned in KCI3 notification

The example below illustrates how the address details are returned to CPs in the KCI3 notification

  • <utcc:Address>
  • <utcc:BritishAddress>
      • <utcc:OrganisationName>OrganisationName</utcc:OrganisationName>
      • <utcc:POBox>POBox</utcc:POBox>
      • <utcc:SubPremises>SubPremises</utcc:SubPremises>
      • <utcc:PremisesName>PremisesName</utcc:PremisesName>
      • <utcc:ThoroughfareNumber>123</utcc:ThoroughfareNumber>
      • <utcc:DependentThoroughfareName>DependentThoroughfareName</utcc:DependentThoroughfareName>
      • <utcc:ThoroughfareName>ThoroughfareName</utcc:ThoroughfareName>
      • <utcc:DoubleDependentLocality>DoubleDependentLocality</utcc:DoubleDependentLocality>
      • <utcc:Locality>Locality</utcc:Locality>
      • <utcc:PostTown>PostTown</utcc:PostTown>
      • <utcc:County>County</utcc:County>
      • <utcc:PostCode>IP1 2RE</utcc:PostCode>
      • <utcc:Country>Country</utcc:Country>
  • </utcc:BritishAddress>
  • </utcc:Address>

Slide 32

appendix service exclusion areas and general exceptions
Appendix Service exclusion areas and general exceptions

Address exception list

Openreach maintains a list of known addresses where it does not provide a copper network, due to geographical limitations or commercial reasons e.g. for GEA-FTTP sites only, Hull or “locked out” sites. This list is published at We strongly recommend that you do not place orders against these addresses, and any orders that are placed will be manually rejected by Openreach.

Managing addresses against your assets

The CP User requires additional priviledges to request address corrections to the ORDI robot referred to in Slide 17, 18. There is an existing process for registering first time users who wish to use the ORDI facility – this can be found under the Customer IT Zone - “Fixing Suspect Data Integrity Issue.pdf”.

Northern Ireland addresses

Certain rural parts of Northern Ireland use a ‘Townland’ address naming convention, which represents a small geographical division of land. This convention necessitated that some addresses required the end user names to be included in the address to ensure it was unique. Openreach only use end user names in these addresses where it exists in PAF.

Exchange parameters

1141 – Exchange Identifier from INS (Integrated Network System)

MDF ID – code given to Main Distribution Frame in an exchange

Site ID – code given to every BT exchange

LLUC (LLU Code – Openreach generated code) – CP’s unique location identifiers (e.g. one rack or multiple racks)

Slide 33

appendix background to the nad system
Appendix Background to the NAD system
  • The end user’s postal address is the address for service provision, the details of which is held in the NAD database within the Equivalence Management Platform (EMP)
  • The NAD uses the Royal Mail Postcode and Address File (PAF) data for UK locations which is regularly updated and is Openreach’s primary source of information. The Ordinance Survey Address Level 2 file is used as a secondary source to obtain related co-ordinate data.  The NAD database contains addresses and indicates when known associations to bearer technologies exist
  • Interfaces between NAD and the Copper inventory (CSS), the FTTP Inventories (PIPeR and Phoenix) and the Point to Point FibreInventory (INS) exist, enabling changes to be updated
  • When handling addressing fallouts requiring changes to address details, the Network Addressing Team (NAT) updates the CSS (which in turns feeds into NAD) as required and as part of the order journey

On the right is a diagrammatical representation of how the NAD gets its data

Network Addressing Team



Openreach NAD

Postal Address File



Ordinance Survey AL2 File


Slide 34