Insights Ofcom consults on new plans for seamless broadband switching


Ofcom says that its new plans to introduce a “one touch” process would benefit broadband and landline customers by making switching quicker, simpler and more reliable.

Following an Ofcom rule change in 2015, customers switching between providers such as BT, Sky and TalkTalk on Openreach’s copper network can already follow a process where their new provider manages the switch. However, Ofcom says, others are still left facing extra hassle to switch.

Customers switching between different networks or technologies, for example, from a provider using the Openreach network to one using CityFibre’s, or from Virgin Media to Hyperoptic, currently need to contact both their existing and new provider to co-ordinate the switch. This includes trying to make sure there is no gap between the old service ending and the new one starting.

In October, Ofcom put in place new rules that include requiring the new broadband provider to take the lead in managing the switch, regardless of whether the customer is moving between different networks, or to a full-fibre service on the same network.

Ofcom is now consulting on proposals to introduce a new “one touch” process, which would make it easier for all residential broadband customers to take advantage of the range of deals available in the market. Ofcom says that the proposed reforms would also make it quicker to switch, in as little as one day if technically possible.

The consultation closes on 31 March 2021. Ofcom aims to publish its decision in the summer of 2021. To read Ofcom’s news release in full and to access the consultation, click here.