Published On: Wed, Mar 13th, 2024

BT, Virgin and Sky users issued with important deadline to save money

Anyone who has tried to switch providers will know that it’s not always easy. Making the move from BT to , for example, often means ringing multiple suppliers and there’s always the chance that the current line will be turned off before the new one is activated leaving you offline until things are installed.

This problem is always worse when changing networks. Right now, it’s much more simple and streamlined to move from BT to Sky as these companies both use Openreach cables to provide internet access. That’s now a feature regulators want across the industry.

Ofcom has been trying to sort this issue for a while with an original deadline for the so-called One Touch Switch originally set for last year. This was then followed by a new date this month.

Sadly both of these commitments have come and gone with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) saying they simply didn’t have enough time to make sure things were robust enough for the changes.

Now a new deadline has been set with ISPs needing to make sure the new simple way of switching is ready by to go live by September 12 2024.

Once activated, anyone moving to a rival supplier will be able to make one call with everything then automated so there’s no hassle and less chance of being left without broadband.

Speaking about the update, TOTSCo – the team behind the new switching service – said: “In arriving at this date, we have spoken with many CPs (communication providers) and other stakeholders from all industry sections. We believe that all parties can achieve this date. While we recognise that many CPs would prefer an earlier date, we believe that this is the earliest credible date given the implementation timescales that have been communicated to us.”

And an Ofcom spokesperson added: “We have received written assurances from [BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk and Virgin Media] that the September launch date is achievable. We will use all necessary resources and oversight to hold TOTSCo and industry to account in meeting this deadline.”

Although this new date is good news for consumers some experts say it’s vital that ISPs stick to the deadline so that consumers stop getting a raw deal.

“While we welcome the announcement of a new date, this is now the third target date that has been set for One Touch Switch to go live,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at

“It’s crucial that the industry sticks to this new date without any further delays. Consumers have already been let down twice while waiting for One Touch Switch, with the original deadline from Ofcom set for April 2023, and the second proposed date of 14 March 2024.

“Without a simpler cross-network switching process, it’s harder for consumers to consider their choices and leave for better options when price rises hit. Our own data shows that broadband customers can save as much as £179 if they switch.”

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