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SWSIG Zoom Call 21 May 20

This is a report on the SWSIG Zoom call on 21 May 20. It covers progress to date and further actions on the Wholesale Platform Feasibility Study and GPL Switching process.

The Agenda was:

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Specification & Roadmap Subgroup report
    • Topline Requirements circulation done and to-do
    • Industry Engagement
    • Supplier Engagement
  • Governance & Funding Subgroup report
    • Feasibility Study and Funding, Project Plan
  • Regulatory
    • Ofcom, OTA2 ECWG, Ministerial
  • Timeline / Dates
  • AOB
  • DONZ

The slide deck and notes of the call are below.

The Zoom recording is here. You will need to use this password 2h#*^$f.

The next SWSIG Zoom call is scheduled for 2pm – 3.30pm Thurs 11 June 20 and you can register here.

The Supplier Responses to the Topline Requirements v1 are on this page.

The new asks from Ofcom via OTA2 to the Option X & Y Advocacy Groups are on this page. The deadline is 8th June 20.

Summary of call:

Objective is to avoid being divided & conquered by meeting 2 key requirements: GPL Switching (no choice, this is mandatory for all) with central system to share costs. Then take one more step (Wholesale) to present the “altnet network” to national retailers

Supplier Engagement with Netadmin, Sonalake, Strategic Imperatives, Union Street, Wallet Services. Hubory to do.

Industry Engagement with OTA2 regularly, BT needs follow up. DCMS, FCS, ISPA, Ofcom, Openreach, scale ISPs to do.

Significant momentum is building, we need to use DCMS support to harness ISPs and industry. We need to address Switching and take the Wholesale opportunity to protect our networks.

Recent Ministerial call with DCMS indicated strong support for Wholesale. Ofcom see this as important for independent sector. Independents have significant funding, important to reach the 2025 target.

Mutual or Commercial depends to an extent on funding requirement. To be explored in Feasibility Study. This and its funding request has gone to key organisations who have indicated support. If other operators are interested to join as Founder Member, please contact us.

Need to engage with potential suppliers, ISPs including scale players. DCMS will help convene high-level contacts.

Need to show this will bring more customers to our networks, need to offer wholesale access where we have local monopolies (or risk overbuild).

Need to keep Ofcom in loop to establish credibility and protect our investment. Part of this is engaging with ISPs including BT. INCA response to Ofcom’s Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review prepared with input from Members.

Important to engage with ISPs to lower risk of project. Discussion on identifying and approaching contacts.

Until now, most INCA Members have had to be their own ISPs. Now we need to consider how to get beyond the early adopters, address regulatory requirements and BDUK requirements for wholesale access e.g. Outside-in funding programme. Attracting national brands is one way.

Regulatory update on Ofcom Plan of Work, GPL Statement Sept 20, OTA2 ECWG further work. Expect Ofcom statement on USO and spectrum consultation.

Suppliers think implementation of Wholesale aligned with GPL on GPL timescale is feasible, given firm specification.

Ofcom’s timing of GPL Statement Sept 20 then implementation within 12 months, maybe we can present compliant system earlier.

Feasibility Study will look at timing and dependencies.

Some PR could help us being seen to be doing something positive and practical.

Summary of the Summary

Now is the window of opportunity so need to be clear on KPIs and move forward.


  1. Get positive responses from Feasibility Study and Funding request. Begin Feasibility Study.
  2. Start ISP Engagement process through CRM contacts and those involved with us in OTA2 ECWG.
  3. Engage with Ofcom, DCMS.
  4. Report progress at 11 June 20 SWSIG Zoom call.
  5. Report for INCA Board 16 June 20.