One touch broadband switching expected December 2022
Broadband switching when switching between providers using the Openreach copper or fibre networks should already be seamless i.e. to switch all you need to do is contact your chosen new provider and the bad news is communicated in the background to your old provider.
Ofcom after previous consultation is now a step closer to seamless switching between the different networks e.g. Virgin Media to CityFibre, CityFibre to Openreach network, GNetwork to Hyperoptic and the list of possible permutations continues with over 40 different FTTP networks across the UK and the degree of overlap growing. It is surprising that this is only happening now after decades of people having to manage the swaps between Virgin Media and Openreach.
The full low down on the new plans is on the Ofcom website the key point is that things carry on as normal for residential customers until December 2022 when the new rules are expected to live. The process for these changes started back in 2019 when new legislation was introduced.
The seamless switch is meant to be such that downtime is minimised and if your old network switches off and the gap is more than a day that compensation will be due. The fun part will be the blame game when providers do things like switch off authentication early or an installer arrives to find an obstacle on the day that stops the installation.
Making switching as easy as possible is very important in terms of driving the take-up for full fibre services, i.e. those switching from a partial fibre provider to a new full fibre provider. Currently best practice is to accept the cost of a couple of weeks or a month of service to ensure that any new full fibre service is actually working - though as more people sign up in areas the teething problems will vanish.
In press coverage while the idea of seamless switching is going to be the headline driver we hope that journalists will ensure the public is made aware that switching between different physical networks will require physical work at a property. Obviously in time enough homes will end up with 2 or 3 Fibre ONT and switching could be just a case of plugging the right router into the right ONT.
For those worrying that seamless switching will be a gift to slamming scams, the existing notification process from the old provider will continue. This should mean assuming people read their post/email that slamming is not possible.