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Broadband customers will soon be able to switch provider in just one day

Ofcom's 'One Touch Switch' rules aim to minimise awkward interactions with customer support

Ofcom has announced that broadband users will be able to switch providers with a new, simplified ‘one touch’ process.

The ‘One Touch Switch’ allows customers to easily move to a faster package, cheaper deal, or better customer service by contacting only the new broadband provider.

Under the new rules, a customers' current broadband provider won’t have to be notified about the switch, reducing time spent paying higher fees and minimising awkward interactions with customer support. Nearly a quarter (24%) of individuals who contact their current provider face unwanted attempts to persuade them to stay, according to Ofcom’s research.

The simplified process includes switching between different networks and technologies alike, meaning that, for example, customers of Openreach’s copper network will be able to move to CityFibre’s gigafast full-fibre in just one day, where technically possible.

Plans for ‘One Touch Switch’ were first introduced in February 2021, following Ofcom research which found that four in ten people (41%) who abandoned plans to switch networks were put off by the hassle of needing to contact more than one provider. A similar number (43%) admitted to staying with their current provider as they thought that the move would be too time-consuming.

Which? director of Policy and Advocacy, Rocio Concha, said that attitudes around switching have undergone a change in the last 18 months:

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“The coronavirus crisis has meant consumers are more reliant on a good broadband connection than they’ve ever been before - so it’s positive to see the regulator removing barriers that are preventing people switching providers and getting a better deal,” he told IT Pro.

“This new 'One Touch Switch' process must now be implemented swiftly so that consumers can reap the benefits as soon as possible. Consumers also shouldn’t delay looking for a new deal - anyone unhappy with their current provider could potentially save up to £143 a year and get improved service by switching,” he added.

However, those looking to benefit from ‘One Touch Switch’ will have to wait until April 2023 for it to fully come into effect, by which time all providers will be required to have the ‘One Touch Switch’ process in place.

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