General

Access Network Providers

If I am an Access Network Provider do I need to do anything?

The new One Touch Switch (OTS) process requires Retail Communication Providers (RCPs) to change how they switch Residential fixed voice and broadband customers.  Each RCP has the obligation to assure that their upstream and downstream supply chain can support any changes to order management, provisioning and switching processes.  If you are not already actively engaged with the CPs who access your services; we would recommend that you initiate discussions with them to understand if and how OTS might impact what they require from you.

 

As an ANP what part do I play in the One Touch Switch process (OTS) process?

Access Network Providers are not directly involved in the messaging sequence of the OTS process. When a losing retail communications provider sends a match confirmation they include an ACPID (Access Provider Identification) to inform the gaining retail communications provider who the current access network provider is. This enables the gaining retail communications provider to know if the switch will be an inter or intra access network switch.

How have you identified all Access Network Providers?

TOTSCo have worked with the OTA2 to develop a list of known Access Network Providers. As part of the commercial onboarding process CPs will be asked to identify their Access Network Providers from the list and notify us if they are not mentioned.

How are Access Network Providers allocated a number / reference?

TOTSCo assigns each ANP a unique ACPID reference e.g. A001, A002 which will be used by RCPs in the switch messaging process.

I am a Communications Provider and my own Access Network Provider, what do I need to do?

As part of the commercial onboarding process CPs will be asked to identify their Access Network Provider from a list. If your organisation is not on the list please let us know when requested.

If I am a Access Network Provider do I need to do anything?

The new One Touch Switch (OTS) process requires Retail Communication Providers (RCPs) to change how they switch Residential fixed voice and broadband customers. Each RCP has the obligation to assure that their upstream and downstream supply chain can support any changes to order management, provisioning and switching processes. If you are not already actively engaged with the CPs who access your services; we would recommend that you initiate discussions with them to understand if and how OTS might impact what they require from you.

Data Security

Does TOTSCo have any form of ICO confirmation that the matching/customer validation process will meet the requirements of GDPR? I am concerned that the industry may be opening itself up to legal action and ICO fines. I understand that the process will suffice for a person really intending to switch legitimately, but I am more concerned about where there may be malicious intent.

TOTSCo will ensure that it, Tech Mahindra and the hub is compliant with applicable data protection requirements, but TOTSCo cannot advise CPs on their own compliance with data protection law. We suggest this is discussed between CPs and if a general concern is identified this is raised directly with ICO/Ofcom. Any requests to change the Industry Process would be addressed through the change process.

General

When is the scheduled date for the penetration testing to be conducted on the hub?

We will shortly be scheduling penetration testing on the hub, with the intention of publishing the results before the hub’s go-live date.

There is no mention of business switching here, is that being considered or to be decided later?

The Gaining Provider Led Switching Steering Group has convened industry stakeholders and has drafted a process. TOTSCo are in discussion are in discussions with this group about potential use of the hub. 

 

Why is TOTSCo announcing a One Touch Switch go-live date?

TOTSCo has been asked by industry to play an OTS readiness co-ordination role. Focusing all parties on a common go-live date is vital for effective industry co-ordination, leading to a better outcome for the programme.

What is an RCPID?

An RCPID is a Retail Communication Provider Identifier. Your RCPID is unique and will be used for identification and communication with CPs. This key identifier is used in the switching process. You can see your RCPID at any time in your account management screen.

What is the difference between a member and a hub user?

TOTSCo stakeholders have had the opportunity to become members since the inception of the company. Members pay an annual fee of £50, which confers a right to vote on the choice of Directors whose terms normally last three years, and to attend General Meetings. There is more information on membership and becoming a member on the TOTSCo website. You do not need to be a member to be a hub user and vice versa.

Managed Access

What is a Managed Access Provider?

A Managed Access Provider (MAP), sometimes known as a Third-Party Integrator is a company a CP can partner with to manage message exchanges on their behalf. For more information and a list of MAPS we are currently working with, please visit our ‘Managed Access Page‘.

I am a CP and want to start using a Managed Access Provider after I’ve onboarded. How do I do this?

You can amend your details and add your Managed Access Provider within the account management area of your account.

I am thinking of using a Managed Access Provider (MAP), do I need to onboard with you as well as my MAP?

Yes. Everyone who will be using the TOTSCo Hub will need to onboard with us to set up a user account, regardless of whether you are already using or considering using a Managed Access Provider.

Onboarding is a two step process:

Step one – Technical Onboarding, which is for verification and to provide you with your Retail Communication Provider Identifier (RCPID). Your RCPID is unique and will be used for identification and communication with CPs. Click here to Technically onboard – use the ‘become a TOTSco Hub User button’

Step two – Commercial onboarding, where we will ask you to provide your account details and payment preferences. Click here to commercially onboard – use the orange button.

Where do I find a list Managed Access Providers you are working with?

Here is the list of Managed Access Providers TOTSCo are engaging with. This will be evolving as we progress so please continue to review this list. 

Will it be necessary to access both the Managed Access Provider and the TOTSCo Hub?

No, if you sign up to a Managed Access Provider you do not need an independent connection into the TOTSCo Hub.

You will need to onboard with us to set up an account with us.

Onboarding is a two step process:

Step one – Technical Onboarding, which is for verification and to provide you with your Retail Communication Provider Identifier (RCPID). Your RCPID is unique and will be used for identification and communication with CPs. Click here to Technically onboard – use the ‘become a TOTSco Hub User button’

Step two – Commercial onboarding, where we will ask you to provide your account details and payment preferences. Click here to commercially onboard – use the orange button.

Onboarding to the TOTSCo Hub

Does each brand name need an RCPID?

This is recommended as it allows for identification of the brand and for reporting and billing information.

How do I get support before I’ve completed onboarding?

You can email service_desk@totsco.org.uk. Later you’ll have access to our enquiry management system where you can raise, track, and add fault tickets and enquiries.

I’ve decided I’m not ready to onboard yet. What should I do?

You can onboard at the point you are ready to start testing and become a TOTSCo Hub user. However, once the TOTSCo Hub is live, you will need to have an account to facilitate switches. We do advise connecting and testing as soon as possible.

I need to change the information I provided during onboarding. What is the process?

You can email service_desk@totsco.org.uk with the details you want to change, and what you want to change it to.

I’m the account holder – what happens if I’m off sick or on leave?

You have the option to add additional users to your account in the account management area of the hub once you are onboarded, as we do not advise password sharing across your organisation.

On the commercial onboarding form you ask ‘if our Access Network provider is listed?’. Can you please confirm that this is the Access Network Provider(s) for our customer’s services that may be switching, for which UW has as many as 4. Or the Access Network Provider from which our hub API integration software will be utilising?

The question refers to the customers Access Network Providers, and we anticipate for the larger CPs there may be more than one. This question is just to ensure we are aware of all Access Network Providers the customers may be using to help facilitate smoother switching. Please add in any ACPs that are not in the list.

Can you please confirm that submission of the commercial onboarding form does not constitute any form of legally binding contract or obligation?

Completing commercial onboarding does not constitute any legal contract. You will have received a testing user agreement at the time of technical onboarding, and the in-life user agreement will be issued to be signed by the appropriate representative in your organisation in October.

How do I complete technical and commercial onboarding?

Step one – Technical Onboarding, which is for verification and to provide you with your Retail Communication Provider Identifier (RCPID). Your RCPID is unique and will be used for identification and communication with CPs. Click here to Technically onboard – use the ‘become a TOTSco Hub User button’

Step two – Commercial onboarding, where we will ask you to provide your account details and payment preferences. Click here to commercially onboard – use the orange button.

We will ask you to sign the user agreement when it is ready which is from 20 October.

For more information see our ‘onboarding‘ page.

The link in my verification email isn’t working. What should I do?

It’s possible the link has expired. Reply to the email explaining that the link isn’t working, and you will be issued a new one.

Is it possible to use a generic email address as the username? We don’t want to be ‘locked out’ if an individual is sick or on annual leave.

Unfortunately, password sharing is restricted, making it impossible to fulfil this request. However, there is an alternative available, which involves adding and editing additional admin users directly from the CP account.

How do I get my Retail Communications Provider (RCP) ID?

Once you have completed the first onboarding step, RCP IDs will be automatically sent to you.

Are there any pre-requisites for CP’s to be ready for onboarding?

No, the onboarding process is designed to be simple and the only the information required will be readily available to the applicant.

Will small resellers who have approximately 100 connections with a wholesale provider, like Daisy or Zen and directly bill the customer need to register with the hub as well, or is it only for CPs?

Any providers responsible for working with end users, either losing or gaining, is classed as a CP and will need to register.

Is it expected that CP’s register a single URL against an RCPID in the hub?

It’s one RCP ID per brand. For the URL, you can register one for each message type or apply one for all message types of that RCPID.

Do we need to have completed commercial onboarding before we can start Integration testing?

Not essential but preferable, because once you have completed commercial onboarding, you will have access to the online incident reporting and logging of your enquiries.

 

The commercial onboarding form already stores `who` is submitting it. Can I confirm whomever completed the technical onboarding also has to complete commercial onboarding?

For the purposes of technical and commercial onboarding, we anticipate that the same person will complete both stages; the forms are designed to be completed in tandem and any CP that has not already onboarded will be encouraged to do that now commercial onboarding is live. The only requirement for the form is that the person filling it out has authorisation to do so and are acting with the consent and on behalf of their organisation. There is the option to add specific details for billing and technical communications as part of the commercial onboarding form, and once the account management functionality is enabled in October, account users can be added and edited.

Pricing

Looking at the indicative prices, will these be charged to losing and gaining party or just gaining party?

A suggested pricing structure will be published for industry comment in due course.

Technical

Are we able to understand the key timelines of all documents (process, APIS, User agreement) are, and when they will be baselined?

We are currently working to provide updated documentation but cannot provide timelines at this moment.

Can you confirm the services affected and covered by TOTSCO? Is it analogue lines, broadband, mobile, hosted voice? Have I missed anything?

The One Touch Switch process covers residential phone (NBICS) and internet (IAS) services.

The One Touch Switch Industry Process is currently at 4.2 but the Process Flows are at 4.1. Are these two compatible?

We know that the process flows need to be updated, it’s something that we have on our list to do, but version 4.2 of the industry process would take precedence over the process flows for the time being.

How will the Hub accommodate daylight savings time?

The Hub will use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and will not be affected by daylight savings time.

Testing

What if the testing shows that there are issues to be fixed?

The very purpose of testing is to find the things that don’t work.  How we identify, triage and resolve those queries will be a key aspect of the testing plan. 

I can’t connect during testing, what should I do?

It is important you make sure there is no IP listing or firewall blocking configuration at your end. Please refer to the Technical Pre-requisites earlier in this document. If you are still having problems, send an email to service_desk@totsco.org.uk.

Once Industry Trials begin will I still be able to continue with simulator and integration testing?

Yes, you will. All test environments will be available for testing. If you haven’t started your testing, we would strongly advise to get started as soon as possible.

How can I participate in Industry Trials?

Not all users will participate in the Industry Trials. The trials will be carried out by a small number of users to represent customer base and product offerings.

Why are Industry Trials not open to everyone to participate?

The trials are carried out on behalf of all industry. Trials test coverage, status, and outcomes will be published by participants on a regular basis for all industry.

Why are you launching the Integration Test Environment earlier than expected?

Industry has had a long period to prepare for OTS and we know that you are keen to move at pace.   We are making good progress with our development team.  Therefore, we want to take the opportunity to give Industry the maximum amount of time to conduct testing of both the hub and their own readiness. 

 

How do I book a test slot for connection testing and OTS integration testing?

Once you have onboarded and received your unique ID (RCPID) you can book your test slot. Before coming to your test slot, please review the TOTSCo Hub User Guide to ensure you’re well prepared. For OTS integration testing please contact us service_desk@totsco.org.uk and we will get it organised for you.

When is the scheduled date for the penetration testing to be conducted on the hub?

We will shortly be scheduling penetration testing on the hub, with the intention of publishing the results before the hub’s go-live date.

Who can register to test?

Any CP or Managed Access provider.

How will the test booking system process work?

We are currently designing the process to be as simple as possible.

What is a test harness?

It provides a controlled environment for running tests and evaluating the behaviour and performance of the software under test.

For the full industry test, there would need to be a co-ordinated test data preparation. Would TOTSCo help with this activity?

We will be assisting on the coordination of test data in order to support CPs.

Ofcom have sent statutory information requests to a number of CPs with specific questions about how long testing will take. These seem impossible to answer based on the information currently available from TOTSCO. Deadline for responses to OFCOM is next week. How should we respond?

TOTSCo cannot give advice on how to respond to Ofcom enquiries.

At this stage are you just testing single line residential services?

Currently, only residential services are available, and the messaging system is designed to handle single-line residential-type messages. The environment will prompt you to send match requests and switch order requests, and the responses you receive will be based on these specific requests. Including multiple services in a single message will not affect the responses you receive, whether it’s a confirmation or a rejection. We will provide more information on the message set shortly.

Are you providing provision for CPs to test against ourselves with multiple portions of our stack? It’s unclear why you’ve structured the testing in terms of functional blocks rather than end-to-end capabilities

The current system is a test harness. The actual integration testing, as described in your question, will take place during the Hub Go Live phase. We will provide a dedicated integration test environment that offers full functionality of the Hub to conduct the specific test scenario you mentioned.

Will you go out to a range of different size CPs to discuss the testing process and plan?

Yes, initially we started with the larger end for pragmatic reasons. However, it is crucial for us to ensure that we engage with CPs of all sizes on an equal level. We always want to hear from you, so if you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

What about Losing Provider testing, will this be possible?

We are presently evaluating the complete test capability. Our aim is to develop the test harness promptly, initially we have limited functionality. However, we will continue to enhance its capabilities as we make progress. We share more information as soon as it is available.

Do we need to have completed commercial onboarding before we can start Integration testing?

Not essential but preferable, because once you have completed commercial onboarding, you will have access to the online incident reporting and logging of your enquiries.

 

Do we need to have signed user agreements before we can start Integration testing?

No. The Testing User Agreement is sufficient.

Do we need to have completed testing in the test simulator before we can start Integration testing?

Yes. You need to complete testing sequentially. You can start testing when you are ready. If you have any concerns about whether you are ready for testing, then please use our Industry readiness checklist and do reach out to us if you need help. 

What if my organisation is not ready for integration testing?

You can start testing when your organisation is ready. If you have any concerns about whether you are ready for testing then please use our Industry readiness checklist and do reach out to us if you need help.  

How does integration testing fit into the full end-to-end testing programme?

The Industry Testing Groups (ITGs) are working on the full testing schedule which we expect to be completed by the end of September. Here you can read more about the role of the ITGs.  

What is the difference between the Integrated Test Environment and Industry Live Trials?

We will use test data in the integration test environment. Industry live trials will involve using real customer data.  This could be friends and family who agree to simulate a switch which is later cancelled off or additionally or alternatively, we may deploy some small number of customers via the new switching process who are manually supported through the back-end aspects. 

What is an RCPID?

An RCPID is a Retail Communication Provider Identifier. Your RCPID is unique and will be used for identification and communication with CPs. This key identifier is used in the switching process. You can see your RCPID at any time in your account management screen.

Here you will find all the latest questions and answers. If you have further questions please email us on enquiries@totsco.org.uk