ElectraLink preparing DTS to deliver CSS

August 2, 2019

Yesterday, we sent an email update from Paul Gath, ElectraLink’s Chief Technical Officer and Director of Operations, to stakeholders with regards to our progress in preparing the Data Transfer Service (DTS) for the delivery of the Central Switching Service (CSS). You can find a copy of the update below:

We felt it would be useful to provide you, a valued stakeholder and DTS User, with an update on the progress of the CSS programme and ElectraLink’s role in its delivery.

As many of you are aware, the aim of Ofgem’s CSS programme is to radically transform current switching arrangements and deliver faster, more reliable switching for consumers. ElectraLink believes that this programme will bring benefits for market participants and consumers alike, so has been closely involved since its inception.

Through our involvement in the design and delivery workstream of the programme, ElectraLink is set to provide a flexible adaptor service, which we are calling CSSConnect, on the DTS. This service will provide a toolset that aligns with Option-3 set out within the Data Communications Company’s (DCC) Switching Programme; Network Access Options Paper dated 23 July. The diagram below, which is an extract from the aforementioned DCC paper, sets out how the service will integrate and support service users to meet their licence obligations with minimal internal systems change, while providing a standard integration to the new CSS Provider. This approach will provide service users and the CSS with the required levels of security, governance and service.

The ElectraLink CSSConnect service will provide the following functions to DTS Users:

  • A message validation service to ensure consistency of messages and message formats.
  • A translation service that enables users to present and receive data flows with existing data flow formats, which we will then re-format to and from the JSON messaging that will be required to flow to the CSS.
  • A separate translation service that will format CSS data messages into JSON messaging into the CSS central service, and vice versa for returning messages.
  • All of the standard audit, replay and security services provided via the current DTS, refined to align with the defined requirements for CSS.

CSSConnect is being built on ElectraLink’s Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH) platform with a deployment schedule that is aligned with the DCC programme plan for CSS.

The EMDH is a platform that has been competitively procured by ElectraLink and is already being paid for by industry. This means that CSSConnect will be provided under the existing, regulated Data Transfer Service Agreement (DTSA), which is overseen by the DTS User Group, and make use of the existing, regulated cost-recovery model. It will therefore be included in the existing DTS charges. This means, that as User of the DTS, you will be able to connect to the new switching services using your existing connectivity method under the existing DTSA.

We will continue to engage with you as the programme develops but if you have any questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to get in touch at helpdesk@electralink.co.uk.

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