(Clicking on the links above will take you to our Resources page where the documents can be downloaded)
Background and Introduction
In its September 2021 Statement, Ofcom announced the introduction of One Touch Switch for residential customers when changing their supplier of fixed line voice and internet services. Under the revised General Conditions effective April 2023, Communications Providers are to follow a single industry process as agreed by the relevant industry forum. Given the high volume of switching, only a standardised approach in which Communications Providers exchange information in a pre-agreed format will result in a good end-user experience.
The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator convened industry parties to define the industry-wide switching process. This was achieved through a broadly based Switching Steering Group and a more focused Detailed Design Group.
TOTSCo has now assumed ownership of the Industry Process, including a governance process for any changes. In addition, TOTSCo will commission and operate the Hub which lies at the heart of the OTS process.
The Industry Process
The Industry Process is detailed in the attached documents.
One Touch Switch Industry Process Design V4.1.pdf details the information flows and exchanges that will need to take place in order for Communications Providers to execute switches in a timely and efficient manner.
It is advisable to read the whole process. The contents page provides a useful overview, and the accompanying diagram (One Touch Switch Industry Process Flows V4.1.pdf) is a useful aid to understanding.
How and why to read the Industry Process
Communications Providers should familiarise themselves with the Industry Process as they will need to adapt internal process and systems in order to conform with it. In particular they will need to understand how they generate the appropriate information to send to other Communications Providers to manage a switch, and how they will respond to incoming messages from other Communications Providers.
Interfacing with the TOTSCo Hub
Communications Providers cannot enter messages directly into the TOTSCo Hub, or access the Hub directly to read messages. The generation, processing and storing of outbound and inbound messages must take place in the Communications Providers own systems. Access to the Hub for the exchange of messages will be exclusively by an API. The API specification will be published in due course. TOTSCo is working with industry to ensure that solutions are available to allow access to the TOTSCo Hub for CPs who are unable to link their systems directly in this way.
Redactions: you will notice that both documents have a number of elements redacted (i.e. sections of blacked out text). These sections are related to areas that have not yet been agreed or do not form part of the RFP process TOTSCo are undertaking, it was agreed that using redaction would be the most effective approach in maintaining the integrity of the baseline documentation.
Feedback and Updates
There are a number of routes through which Communications Providers can provide feedback.
- Via e-mail to email@example.com. Please understand that we cannot respond directly to e-mails, but we will take this feedback into account when generating further material for general communication.
- Through industry associations. TOTSCo has an active dialogue with these associations and they are engaged in the One Touch Switch introduction.
- By attending the Stakeholder Forums. These are held roughly once a month via Teams, and allow Communications Providers to raise questions directly with TOTSCo representatives. If you have not registered your interest in attending these forums on the TOTSCo website, please contact TOTSCo at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update our records.
TOTSCo will publish news on its website and through newsletters, including any developments around the Industry Process.