28 September 2021

We’re making it easier than ever to switch your broadband provider

A new switching process we’ve announced today will make it easier and quicker than ever to switch your broadband or home phone provider.

Under the ‘One Touch Switch’ process, you will only need to contact your new home broadband provider to switch, and you won’t need to speak to your current provider before making the move.

This will apply to all home broadband users, including cable and full-fibre customers. This means you can switch 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.

How it will work

The new ‘one touch’ process will make it easier to get a faster package, cheaper deal, or better customer service when you switch provider. It will also make it quicker – taking place in just one day where this is technically possible.

More information on the process is available in our news release.

What if I want to switch before this process is introduced?

This is a highly complex change for providers. So the new switching process won’t come into force until April 2023, to allow providers time to make the necessary changes to their systems in order for it to work well for customers.

However, there’s plenty you can do before then if you want to change your broadband provider.

Ofcom rules mean you can leave your provider without being penalised if you’re not getting the broadband speeds you were promised when you entered into the contract.

One-stop switch

If your current broadband service runs on the Openreach phone network, and you’re switching to another provider that also uses this network (which include BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk), you can follow a ‘one-stop’ switching process.

Under this process, you don’t need to contact your current provider at all. Instead, your new provider can arrange the transfer for you.

Once you’ve contacted your new provider to begin the switching process, both your new provider and old provider must both send you a letter to let you know about the details of the switch, and an estimate of when it will happen.

Switching between networks

If you're switching to, or from, a full-fibre broadband service or a provider that doesn’t use the Openreach network – such as Virgin Media – you will need to stop your service with your current provider and start a new service with a new provider. You should contact both providers.

Your old provider will confirm that your contract is ending – and explain any charges that might apply – and your new provider will let you know when your new contract will start.

Switching a bundle

If you use a bundle of services with a provider, for example home phone and broadband, you will usually follow one of the processes described above.

However, if you're switching provider for a bundle which includes a TV service, there might be some differences – particularly if the switch involves cancelling a satellite TV service. Your new provider can give you information on this.

If you have a landline and broadband service with the same provider, switching your broadband provider is likely to mean switching your landline service at the same time. So, make sure you’re happy to do this before signing up for one of these offers.

Early termination charges and ‘cooling off’ period

If you want to change provider before the end of your minimum contract period, you might have to pay early termination charges (unless you're not getting the speeds you were promised). Check with your current provider whether you will need to pay any charges when you switch.

And remember, you always have a 14-calendar-day ‘cooling off’ period, during which you can cancel your request to switch broadband provider – without being charged.

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