Broadband users will be able to switch providers more quickly, thanks to a new switching process unveiled this week by telecoms regulator Ofcom.

The ‘One Touch Switch’ process, which is due to be introduced in April 2023, will enable customers to switch broadband providers simply by contacting their new provider and letting them take care of it. Ofcom states that you won’t have to contact your old provider at all, and that switching could take as little as one day where technically possible.

The new process will apply to any home broadband user in the UK, meaning customers will theoretically be able to switch between different broadband networks and technologies. This is an upgrade to how switching currently works – users on Openreach’s copper network can already switch between other providers on the network simply by contacting the new provider, but with the One Touch Switch process, this will extend the simplified process to cover all broadband networks.

Research by Ofcom shows that 41% of people who decide not to switch broadband are put off by the idea of having to contact multiple providers, and nearly a quarter of people who do switch are met with unwanted attempts to persuade them to stay with their old provider. It is hoped that the new process will solve both of these problems and make switching more user-friendly.

It will be a while before the process can be officially introduced, as providers need to perform the necessary technical changes to their systems to ensure that switching works as intended.

How will the One Touch Switch process work?

Ofcom hopes that the new process will be fairly straightforward. In the plan they have outlined, customers will only have to follow three simple steps:

  1. Contact your new provider to request the switch and provide the relevant details
  2. Automatically receive a letter from your old provider with any relevant information included (such as early termination charges). Your new provider sends the contract over in the meantime
  3. The switch happens on the date you have agreed

Remember that switching broadband can mean switching other things too, if for example you have it as a package deal with a TV service, or if you get landline service from the same provider. The new provider that you contact will let you know what exactly will change in the switch.

Find out more…

If you’re keen to find out more about switching your broadband, and don’t want to wait for the new process to be introduced in 2023, then you can do so in our article How to find the best broadband deal.

Remember that if you are thinking about switching, check that you won’t have to pay any exit penalties first. You may have to wait until your current contract finishes if you want to switch without having to pay a cancellation fee.

If you are out of contract and would like to compare broadband deals quickly and easily, you can use this free broadband comparison tool. All you need to do is enter your postcodey, and your current provider and the service will come up with the deals available to you. You can narrow down your options by specifying your budget, the speed you’re looking for, how much data you need, and how long you want your contract to be.

Are you planning on switching your broadband anytime soon? What do you consider to be the biggest barriers to switching? We’d be interested in hearing from you. You can join the conversation on the Rest Less Community forum or leave a comment below. 


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