Downloads | Service Level Agreement | Start Communications

Service Level Agreement

This Service Level Agreement (SLA) specifies the time-frames in which we will endeavour to respond to incidents and resolve any telephone system issues.

Included in this SLA is the incident procedure associated response level, as escalation process.

Start Communications are committed to delivering a high level of service to ensure that the telecoms system is an effective enabling tool for all of our customers.

Service Description

Start Communications is responsible for maintaining the Telephone System and directly associated service used for the company specified as detailed in the Service Schedule. This is to ensure that the telephony service (“the service”) is available for use in accordance with the service levels described in this agreement.

Service Availability

Start Communications will endeavour to ensure that the service is available 24 hours by 7 days per week subject to planned outages as communicated by Start Communications (which in many cases will be determined by third party providers).

Scope of Service Support and Exclusion

Hours of Support

The Start Communications Support Desk is available between 09:00 and 17:30, Monday to Friday (Excluding Public Holidays).

Service Schedule

Precise details of what is cover should be clear on the sales order form but as a general rule we will usually cover the following Start Communications supplied items:

  • Router giving access to telephony cloud (provided router assurance is maintained)
  • Handsets or soft clients
  • Any wireless access points provided as a part of the service
  • Data connection
  • Fixed lines
  • Software
  • PCs or Servers

The Service Schedule must be signed off by the customer to confirm acceptance of the detail:

  • Customers IT Services, including infrastructure, hardware and software
  • Network switches used for the telephony service
  • DECT phones
  • Internal cabling
  • Mains cabling and supply
  • Headsets

The service schedule will usually cover the following items but only where specified:

  • Router providing access to telephony cloud (provided router assurance is maintained)
  • Handsets or soft clients
  • Any wireless access points provided as a part of the service
  • Data connection
  • Fixed lines
  • Software
  • PCs or Servers
  • Exclusions

The following services and devices are not covered by this SLA or any service schedule:

  • Customers IT Services, including infrastructure, hardware and software
  • Network switches used for the telephony service
  • DECT phones
  • Internal cabling
  • Mains cabling and supply
  • Headsets


The customer is responsible for the following:

  • Providing a valid service identifier such as site name, address or telephone number when reporting an incident to the Support team.
  • Provide and maintaining a list of authorised technical representatives who can act on behalf of the customer, and be contacted either Start Communications support or a third party appointed by Start Communications.
  • Checking that equipment is cabled and powered correctly, including phones, routers etc.
  • Completing diagnostic checks when requested by an Start Communications representative.
  • Confirmation: Confirmation that the particular incident reported has been resolved.

Start Communications is responsible for the following:

  • Support: Support will be provided via telephone and email.
  • Reference number: Issue a unique reference number for each new incident raised.
  • Monitoring: Monitor each incident through to completion.
  • Status updates: Provide an update on the status/progress as agreed with the customer.
  • Escalation as appropriate.
  • Confirmation: Confirming when an incident has been resolved.

Incident Management

All incidents relating to the service detected by end users must be reported to the Start Communications Support team for further diagnosis. The Support team member will log a task on our CRM System. The call will then be routed to the appropriate support technician in accordance with the minimum Service Level timelines.

Within the SLA defined working hours:

  • The Support team will receive an email/telephone call of any incidents relating to the telephony system.
  • The Support team will log the incident with the customer contact as the “requester”.
  • Each call logged by the Support team is assigned a unique task number. This incident (or task) number will be communicated to the requester and should be used when contacting the Support team for updates.
  • The Support team will assess the issue and engage the various technical representatives to assist and diagnose.
  • The Customer contact will receive regular email (in some cases, voice call) updates in accordance with the category assigned to the task.
  • When the incident is resolved, (changes completed, and/or the questions answered) the customer will be further updated and Start Communications will request acceptance to close the ticket. Start Communications will make a maximum of 2 closure requests over 2 days before, the ticket will then be set to be closed 2 days after the last closure request unless anything further is heard from the Customer.

Service Levels

Start Communications prioritises all requests according to their impact and urgency to ensure that appropriate response times to the incident service requests it receives are easily identifiable. Incidents with a large impact or problems that prevent a section of a business from performing its work completely are given a higher priority than other incident or requests, for example, those affecting a single individual or affecting a less important function.

The following priorities are for incidents and service requests which cannot be immediately resolved.

Note: the status of any call can be obtained by contacting the Support Team and providing the relevant task number. You will however receive periodic updates on any tasks raised.

Start Communications will look to agree the priority level with the Customer to avoid confusion or differing expectations.

In some cases, the incident may take longer to resolve than desired and the Start Communications team will endeavour to ensure that customers are informed of the incident status. In all cases, the Support team will notify the customer (or agreed representative) when the issue has been resolved and will only close the call when the Customer has agreed to do so or a request to close has not been responded as mentioned above.

Priority 1 (P1) – Incidents where there is a total system failure or failure of a component that renders the complete system unusable in one or more sites. (Class = Major Incident)

Priority 2 (P2) – Incidents that reduce the level of functionality or performance of the system across 1 or more sites. (Class = Significant Incident)

Priority 3 (P3) – Incidents that affect a single user or component that has a limited effect on the rest of the system. No disruption to service.  (Class = Minor Incident)

Priority 4 (P4) – Service requests for configuration changes or a loss of functionality that is not service affecting. No disruption to service.  (Class = Information Request or Configuration Change)

Incident Management Responses

All times are working hours/day P1 P2 P3 P4
Initial response time 30 minutes 30 minutes 1 hour 1 hour
Frequency of updates 2 hours 4 hours 2 days 5 days
Target Fix Time 8 hours 2 days 5 days 10 days

Escalation Path

If you feel that a fault is not being progressed within the given timescales or is not receiving the appropriate attention or priority, please feel free to contact Start Communications managment team; quote the relevant ticket number and state the reasons to why you believe the ticket should be escalated.  Please note that escalation levels are designed to assist you, so please use them in order.


All complaints related to logged Support incidents should, in the first instance, be directed to the Start Communications mangement team. The complaint will be investigated and actioned, if necessary, escalated to the Customer Services team.

Out of Hours Support

Out of hours’ support is provided only by prior agreement, however, faults on care level lines can be reported out of hours and will be logged with BT Openreach. These will carry the standard care level 4 – estimated fix time of 6 hours.

Appendix A – Incident logging requirements

Fault Localisation (Preliminary Checks)

  • To enable us to resolve any support queries as quickly as we would like we will need certain information from you to open and progress support tasks.
  • Problem symptoms referring to all faults should be captured and must be recent.
  • Example calls should not be older than 48 hours except where this is impossible. The details required before reporting to our Support Desk are listed in ‘Fault Logging Requirements’.

Telephone Line Fault Localisation (ISDN2/30)

  • Reboot the Customer Premises Equipment (Telephone System).  If you are unsure as to your equipment suitability for this then please first check with your system maintainer. This course of action resolves around 50% of faults reported to us.
  • Where a Telephone System is present, can you make internal calls?
  • Take note of what happens on incoming and outgoing calls.
  • If fault is intermittent how often does it occur?
  • Are DDIs affected also? If so, which are affected all/some?

Data Line Fault Localisation (Broadband)

  • Firstly, try rebooting the router. Power down and leave off for a minimum of 20 minutes;
  • Power back on, wait 5 minutes and then check for connectivity.
  • If still no connectivity, plug an analogue handset into the line box; removing all Micro-filters; check for dial tone. If none then follow analogue line fault localisation.
  • If dial tone is present, swap micro-filter if possible.
  • Take note of which lights on router are on/off.
  • If possible, check the username and password in router.

Ethernet/MPLS/VPLS/Private Networks

  • Are you experiencing power issues on site?
  • Has any maintenance work on the equipment been carried out and or could it have been disconnected?
  • Has the router and NTU been rebooted?

If you have eliminated any power issues and the re-boot(s) have not restored service, then please confirm the information below:

  • Can you ping your default gateway?
  • Can you provide a traceroute to destination on the internet (e.g. or another site if this circuit is part of an MPLS or VPLS service?
  • All light statuses for the LEDS on the NTU (not applicable if DSL service).
  • All light statuses on the router.
  • Site contact name, number and access times should an engineer be required.

VOIP Fault Localisation

  • Reboot access router. Power down and leave off for a minimum of 20 minutes; power back on; wait 5 minutes, then check for connectivity.
  • If using SIP trunks, reboot the telephone system in line with the advice of the system maintainer. Check lights on routers; make a note of which are on/off.
  • If using ADSL as access method check for dial tone at socket.
  • Check if all handsets are experiencing issue.
  • Check lights on routers; make a note of which are on/off.
  • Take note of what happens on incoming and outgoing calls.
  • If fault is intermittent how often does it occur?
  • Are DDI’s affected also? If so all/some? Which ones are affected?

Fault Logging Requirements

All current service faults should be preferably reported by telephone direct to our Support Desk. Verbal communication will allow Support Desk to discuss the fault in detail and provide initial diagnostics without delay.

The following information should be provided to our Support Desk when logging a fault:

Line (WLR) Fault Requirements

  • End-User & Service details.
  • End-User’s Name.
  • (i) PSTN & ISDN2 -CLI of the faulty line (complete, including the STD code).
  • (ii) ISDN30 – Circuit Reference number and type of telephone system.
  • Full postal address of End-User’s premises.
  • Contact name and telephone number (for BT and possible access purposes).
  • End-User Site Non-Access periods.
  • Required Call Divert telephone number (not International or premium rate).

Completed Preliminary Checks:

  • Has the equipment been checked & is okay?
  • Has the power supply been checked & is okay?
  • Has “Fault Localisation” been completed?

Faults Details:

  • Nature of fault.
  • Symptom of fault.
  • Intermittent/Frequency or permanent?
  • When did the fault start?

VOIP Fault Localisation


  • Name.
  • Full Postal Address.
  • Contact Number.
  • Access hours to premise.

Circuit reference or telephone number

  • What is the Problem?
  • Nature of fault?
  • Symptom of fault?
  • Frequent / Intermittent?
  • Has reboot been completed?
  • If broadband has line been tested or voice call attempted on the line from the test socket?
  • Trace routes to, default gateway and next hop/available address if possible.

VOIP Fault Requirements


  • Name.
  • Full postal address.
  • Contact number.

What is the problem?

  • Nature of fault?
  • Symptom of fault?
  • Frequent/Intermittent?
  • If intermittent are there any patterns in the time(s) of failure?
  • Product type; Hosted Telephony, SIP Trunking etc?
  • When did the problem start?
  • Identify your router Make and Model.
  • Have any changes happened on your local area network or firewall recently?
  • Which provided Internet Service are you using?
  • If you are having issues with call quality or particular destinations please complete the table below dependant on whether or not the issues are for outgoing calls or incoming calls. We need at least three examples within the last 48 hours to investigate.
  • Do you need a divert?