SWITCHconnect PWLAN builds on the base provided by the SWITCHconnect classic service. It extends the hotspot base beyond the university campus and adds over 2500 locations in Switzerland thru the partnership with several commercial wireless Internet service providers (WISP).
In return universities provide a captive portal for the WISP's to provide them a selling point for their services, targeted at customers that are not related to a university but want to get online while visiting a university campus.
PWLAN builds on the infrastructure already in use for the classic service. For students connecting at a WISP hotspot, the WISP simply employs the same (limited) set VPN servers to which access is free.
Each participating university must implement a suitable captive portal. This includes a website for the WISP's to advertise their offerings and for a guest user to choose a WISP he wants to connect to. The captive portal then routes all traffic for that user to the selected WISP. The captive portal employs the VPN list too, so university members can connect directly.
SWITCH offers a captive portal name Multi Provider Portal (MPP) which was developed by CloudGuard specially for the purposes of PWLAN.