One Touch Switching Service Deadline Missed By Big Four Broadband Providers


By Emma Lewis, bOnline

The ‘Big Four’ providers, BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have once again been delayed in implementing the new One Touch Switching service. The deadline of the 14th March was missed, which is the second time it’s happened.

What is the One Touch Switching service? 


In late 2021, Ofcom revealed that it plans to bring in new “One Touch Switch” rules for telecom providers. These rules essentially mean broadband and landline providers must offer customers a much more simple process when they actively come to switch suppliers.

Ofcom’s research has shown that many users (41%) find the idea of switching off-putting because of the hassle of contacting more than one supplier. A similar number (43%) just think it takes too long.

One Touch Switch is designed to alter these perceptions, providing customers with a more consistent, transparent experience, no matter which network providers they are switching from/to. As well as removing the existing Notification of Transfer process, One Touch Switch will be gaining-provider led (GPL), meaning the new supplier has responsibility for making sure a switch happens efficiently.

The missed deadline is the second time the new switching system has been delayed. Back when the plans were originally announced, Ofcom gave the 3rd April 2023 as the date customers could switch under the new rules. This was then moved to the 14th March 2024, however, that too has now passed. The deadline is now expected to be the 12th September.


What Should Small Businesses Look For When Switching Broadband Provider?


The best thing small business owners looking to switch broadband providers can do is to look for companies that specialise solely in them (like bOnline). In other words, it’s worth checking out smaller providers that offer a quality product but who also understand the needs and challenges of small business owners. You want the best business broadband deal for you after all.

Just Another Number

With larger providers, you’re likely to be treated as ‘just another number’. They work within a much broader market, not only targeting small business owners but larger businesses/corporations and residential addresses too.

So when you get in touch for customer support for example, you may find you need to speak to multiple departments before you get the answers you need. You may even find you can’t get through at all, as you compete against many other customers at the same time.

With a smaller provider like bOnline you’ll typically get through to a real human more quickly, and receive a more personal service rather than just feeling like a number. This can be really important if for example you have any technical issues that need fixing urgently.

Check Out Contract Length Too

Don’t forget too that if you run a small business and you’re shopping around for a broadband provider, prices between the big names and the small ones can vary widely. For example, unlimited fibre deals start at just £32 a month with bOnline which is certainly competitive.

But in fact, the big thing here is to look at the contract length. Yes some of the big names can lure you in with cheap deals for a few months, but the price often rockets after, even when you’re still in contract.

These contracts can be expensive to get out of early too, for example, BT charges a fee for each month remaining on your contract at the time of cancellation. This is minus VAT, any cost savings, and an additional 1%. Additionally, many of the bigger providers have longer contract lengths that tie you in, however bOnline for example only offer contracts of 12 months. This gives greater flexibility in an ever-changing world.

BT, Sky Business and Virgin Media all offer business broadband products that tie you in for 24 months for example. That’s a long time when you’re a very small business or start-up just getting going. 

The fact is, choosing a good, reliable, well-priced business broadband provider can involve a bit of homework. The temptation is to jump to one of the big names just because it’s familiar – but we say some of the smaller players really can offer more.