Enforcement programme: Industry's failure to implement One Touch Switch by deadline of 3 April 2023

12 March 2024


Programme into Industry's failure to implement One Touch Switch by deadline of 3 April 2023
Case opened 3 April 2023

Providers of fixed landline and broadband services were required to implement the new One Touch Switch (OTS) process by 3 April 2023. OTS is designed to make it easier and quicker for customers to switch their services.

Industry have failed to implement the new process on time, so we have opened an enforcement programme to make sure that relevant providers deliver OTS to a high standard, and in accordance with the agreed specifications, as quickly as possible.

Relevant legal provision(s)

General Conditions C7.18 – C7.27 (3 April 2023 version)

On 13 December 2023, The One Touch Switch Company (“TOTSCo”) announced that the target date for the industry-wide launch of One Touch Switch (“OTS”) - 14 March 2024 - was no longer achievable. TOTSCo took its decision following communication from BT, Sky, TalkTalk and VMO2.

On receipt of this information, Ofcom wrote to each of the four providers to set out our concerns about the repeated delays, and to require them with the utmost urgency to finalise a launch date that is the earliest possible implementation date for OTS. Today, TOTSCo announced the new industry-wide launch date of OTS as 12 September 2024.

We have received written assurances from BT, Sky, TalkTalk and VMO2 that this date is achievable, and we have separately sought assurances from OTA, as our appointed technical advisors that this date is achievable.

However, given the already very lengthy delay to the launch of OTS, Ofcom is increasing the level of implementation oversight with these providers as well as TOTSCo separately, as the industry body appointed by communications providers to manage the launch of OTS, and subsequent operation.

We continue to reiterate our expectations and importance that all industry participants use all their efforts to deliver OTS to a high standard by 12 September 2024 and use all necessary resources to achieve this.

Separately Ofcom will, based on the evidence we have already gathered, review the conduct of all industry participants since our statement in 2021 in order to determine whether it will be appropriate or necessary to open individual investigations after launch. These considerations will include BT, Sky, TalkTalk and VMO2, as well as any other providers that we feel are necessary to further scrutinise.

The continued delays by industry have ultimately caused customers to lose out on the benefits of a quicker and more effective switching process. Ofcom will continue to hold providers to account for their failures to deliver these benefits to consumers.


Enforcement team (enforcement@ofcom.org.uk)

Case reference CW/01268/03/23