One Touch Switch system for broadband delayed again

14 March 2024 11:51   By Lyndsey Burton

UK's automated switching service between broadband networks delayed for a second time.

The industry-led One Touch Switching Company (TOTSCo) has announced a new go-live date of 12 September 2024, after missing the previous target of 14 March 2024.

This will be the second revision to its go-live date, after the One Touch Switch service missed its initial regulatory deadline of 3 April 2023.

Ofcom singled-out four of the major providers, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media O2, for being slow to implement the new service and causing continued delays.

broadband at home
Credit: simona pilolla 2/


Despite being due to go live from April 2023, the One Touch Switch system was delayed until March 2024, giving providers extra time for testing.

At the time, TOTSCo said the central hub for the service would be available in a test environment from 4th September 2023, with the production environment going live in October.

However, even then, TOTSCo said the new live date of March 2024 was a compromise between providers who would be ready sooner, and those who said they needed more time.

While there are no specific details as to the cause of the delay, Ofcom specified that they wrote to BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media O2 to raise their concerns over the delays and urge them to finalise a launch date.

Next steps

The regulator said these four providers have now provided written assurances the September go-live date is achievable.

TOTSCo have also published a path to One Touch Switch Go-Live, which focuses on industry trials using actual customer data and live switches, with the initial phases of testing starting already in March and April this year.

The path includes three main phases covering:

  1. Technical trials: live switches of non-primary lines, with no risk to residential customers. Running in March and April.
  2. Staff trials: testing on primary lines with volunteers prepared to switch between participating broadband providers, with around 30-50 losing and gaining switches during the test period. Running in May and June
  3. Industry ramp-up: gradually increasing the volume of live switches for actual customers. This stage is permanent once a provider enters until the One Touch Switch system goes live across the industry. Running July and August.

So, it seems there is much more confidence and a clear strategy to getting the system up and running by the new September 2024 live date.

Benefits of switching

One Touch Switch is an industry-based solution to improving the process of switching between different broadband networks for customers.

Up until now, only providers on the Openreach network can handle switches for customers, with the gaining provider informing a current supplier and ending the service, whilst also activating the line to the new service, all without a customer having to do anything other than place an order for broadband.

What Ofcom hopes is that this new switching service will automatically handle switches between different networks, for example when a customer moves from BT to Virgin Media O2, or even from an Openreach provider to an independent full fibre network such as Community Fibre, CityFibre, or Hyperoptic.

It should improve switching by making the process easier for customers, as they'll no longer need to cancel existing services themselves, something which is known to have been difficult for some customers.

Read more on how to switch broadband providers.


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