Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored Links

TOTSCo Clarifies UK Switching Rules for Wireless Broadband Networks

Thursday, Apr 25th, 2024 (1:39 pm) - Score 1,040
Wireless-radio-spectrum-UK-mast-tower-123RF-ID-13477202

The One Touch Switching Company (TOTSCo), which is responsible for implementing Ofcom’s now heavily delayed One Touch Switch (OTS) migration system for faster consumer switching between UK broadband ISPs, has today helped to clarify the tedious subject of applicability to Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) networks.

At present most of the talk around OTS has tended to focus upon fixed line providers, which might have caused some FWA providers to assume that the new rules don’t apply to them. Ofcom has previously stated that it applies to all residential customers switching services provided at a fixed location, regardless of technology (FWA is specifically said to be in-scope).

NOTE: TOTSCo are currently aiming for the new OTS system to go live on 12th September 2024 (here), which is over a year past its original launch date of April 2023.

However, wireless network technologies are quite a diverse group, particularly once you get into the awkward area of wireless broadband services that harness 4G and 5G (mobile broadband) technologies. Mobile operators already have a “Text-to-Switch” (Auto-Switch) system, but there are some products and solutions that may appear to sit in-between this and OTS, which are hard to place.

The latest TOTSCo Bulletin No.54 addresses this conflict by clarifying where the dividing lines sit for different network types.

FWA v mobile broadband

FWA is delivered to most locations using powered proprietary FWA equipment using outdoor-mounted [Customer-Premises Equipment (CPE)] devices. In some cases, mobile technology based on 3G, 4G or 5G equipment is used. In the latter cases, the CPE device might be indoor or outdoor-mounted and would have a SIM or eSIM installed. In either case, the connection would bypass any wired service to the property.

A service marketed as a “home broadband” service, typically requiring a main power supply, and intended to be used in a fixed location, would be FWA, and in scope of OTS switching. A mobile broadband device (e.g. a “MiFi” device) typically has an internal battery, is primarily intended to be used away from a fixed location, and would not be in scope.

The full document covers this and other setups in more detail, and the extra clarity it brings to the table is most welcome. But we note that some ISPs, both fixed line and wireless alike, have yet to join the scheme. If this doesn’t change, then the early launch could be quite rocky for any as yet unprepared providers, although at present TOTSCo claims participation by comms providers with a combined market-share of 97%.

In addition, while OTS only applies to residential services, the new high-level switching rules do technically mean that all switches, including business switches (particularly consumer-grade business broadband), should also be Gaining Provider Led (GPL). Ofcom’s February 2022 Statement, paragraphs 3.122 to 3.132, covers some of this and helps to show why TOTSCo may have much wider applicability than some providers realise.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
Search ISP News
Search ISP Listings
Search ISP Reviews
Comments
2 Responses
  1. Avatar photo - says:

    How many FWA domestic users in the UK at present? I assume it is less than 1% instinctively, that would be about 280,000 customers which is still really high. Is it less than 0.5%?

  2. Avatar photo QuantumOfInsolace says:

    I think the article is confused about the TOTS membership list – thats the company shareholders not the list of companies signed up to use OTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

NOTE: Your comment may not appear instantly (it may take several hours) due to static caching or random moderation checks by the anti-spam system.
Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheap BIG ISPs for 100Mbps+
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
Virgin Media UK ISP Logo
Virgin Media £26.00
132Mbps
Gift: None
Sky Broadband UK ISP Logo
100Mbps
Gift: None
Plusnet UK ISP Logo
Plusnet £27.99
145Mbps
Gift: None
Zen Internet UK ISP Logo
Zen Internet £28.00 - 35.00
100Mbps
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest ISPs for 100Mbps+
Gigaclear UK ISP Logo
Gigaclear £17.00
200Mbps
Gift: None
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
BeFibre UK ISP Logo
BeFibre £19.00
150Mbps
Gift: None
YouFibre UK ISP Logo
YouFibre £19.99
150Mbps
Gift: None
Hey! Broadband UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 15 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (5598)
  2. BT (3538)
  3. Politics (2561)
  4. Openreach (2316)
  5. Business (2290)
  6. Building Digital UK (2257)
  7. FTTC (2050)
  8. Mobile Broadband (2000)
  9. Statistics (1804)
  10. 4G (1688)
  11. Virgin Media (1644)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (1477)
  13. Fibre Optic (1410)
  14. Wireless Internet (1403)
  15. FTTH (1382)
Promotion
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact
Mastodon