The communications regulator Ofcom has announced its plans to introduce the One Touch Switch process for switching broadband providers in a seamless way. Currently, you can tell a new provider you’d like to switch to them and you’re transferred without having to contact your existing supplier as long as both providers are on the Openreach phone network, but this isn’t the case for customers on other network infrastructure such as Virgin Media customers.
Under One Touch Switch, customers with any provider will be able to contact a new supplier and switch to them without having to speak to their old supplier. Due to the complexity involved in setting this up, Ofcom has stated that the process won’t be available to customers until April 2023.
As things stand today, people switching to a provider that uses different infrastructure have to inform the new and old providers. The prospect of this can put people off switching which reduces competition in the market and leads to higher prices for customers overall. The only caveat to the new system is that you may have to contact your old provider if your package includes a TV service but your new provider should let you know about doing this if they can’t manage it.
Over the last couple of years, Ofcom has been focusing on making it easier to switch between providers for different services. Its biggest win came in 2019 when it allowed mobile customers to request their PAC code via SMS, meaning people could transfer their old number to a new provider without having to contact their old provider.