Thursday, October 14, 2021

Equity Trader Alert #2021 - 80
Nasdaq will Retire CTCI Protocol for FINRA / Nasdaq TRF and ACES next month, November 2021


  • Service Change
  • Testing

Markets Impacted:

Contact Information:


As previously announced (ETA #2021-59), (ETA #2021-18), (ETA #2020-28), Nasdaq will be retiring the CTCI Protocol for Nasdaq TRF Carteret and ACES services, pending filing and approval by the SEC, effective Monday, November 22, 20211. Clients now have a little over a month remaining to migrate to the FIX protocol. As of January 1, 2021, Nasdaq no longer accepts requests for new or additional CTCI ports. Clients should follow the steps outlined below to request new FIX connections before retiring their CTCI connections. Clients are required to migrate no later than Friday, November 19, 2021 to avoid service interruption.

Currently, Nasdaq supports both CTCI (CTCI/TCP; CTCI/MQ) and FIX protocols for FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Carteret 2. Nasdaq also offers CTCI and FIX service for ACES, a bi-lateral equity order routing service. The retirement of CTCI for the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Carteret and ACES aligns connectivity options for Nasdaq Quoting, Trading and Trade Reporting services and follows similar actions by FINRA. 3 Any CTCI clients, including broker-dealers or Service Bureaus, that wish to continue to deliver electronic transactions to the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Carteret or ACES will need to migrate to the FIX protocol by no later than Friday, November 19, 2021. From now until Friday, November 19, 2021, clients may run CTCI and FIX concurrently to ensure a successful transition. Clients will not be required to maintain a formal CTCI-FIX parallel period and can migrate to the FIX service as soon as they are ready. Clients may cancel their CTCI ports at anytime by submitting a FINRA Services Port Request Form. Any CTCI ports which have not been cancelled by Friday, November 19, 2021 will be automatically terminated at the close of business on that day.

Clients should contact Nasdaq Subscriber Services or call (212) 231-5180 to begin the migration to FIX service and follow the steps below.

Step Task Contact
Add FIX and remove CTCI services Complete FINRA Services Port Request Form or Nasdaq Equities Port Request Form to establish and/or remove port connections. Nasdaq Subscriber Services (212) 231-5180
Develop FIX software messaging layer Code to the FIX for Trade Reporting or FIX for Order Entry Specifications Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180
Test FIX in the Nasdaq Test Facility Establish a testing timeframe with Trading Services and notify NTF Billing. Customers can perform production connectivity and software testing starting now. Free testing is available for 30-day period. Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180
Test FIX in Production Work with Nasdaq to understand which weekends are available for production connectivity and software testing. Nasdaq lists Saturday testing dates here. Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180
Cut-over to FIX production service Client determines the go-live date and informs Nasdaq. Nasdaq Trading Services; (212) 231-5180

Testing Fees:

Clients may test software free of charge in the Nasdaq Test Facility (NTF) for 30 calendar days. Clients must register for their fee waiver with prior to commencement of testing. Once a client informs the Nasdaq of their starting test date, the free period will begin and cannot be interrupted. After the 30-day period ends, normal NTF fees will apply for anyone connecting and testing.


  1. CTCI Retirement date is subject to change based on SEC approval.
  2. In Sept 2018, FINRA and Nasdaq launched the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF Chicago solely with FIX 4.2 connectivity. For more information, see ETA2018-41
  3. On August 16, 2018, FINRA notified customers that it will no longer support CTCI protocol for TRACE and ORF, effective February 3, 2020. See FINRA Technical Notice to Terminate CTCI Protocol for TRACE and ORF. FINRA extended the CTCI protocol retirement for Reporting Trades to TRACE and ORF to March 16, 2020. See FINRA Technical Notice to Terminate CTCI Protocol for TRACE and ORF - Final Reminder

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