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A simplified guide to Ofcom's new broadband switching guidelines

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, is making broadband switching simpler for everyone! We offer you a quick and easy guide to changing your provider using the brand new process.

By on June 18, 2015 at 14:00 PM
A simplified guide to Ofcom's new broadband switching guidelines

Why is the process changing?

In the past there were a number of different methods for switching to a new broadband provider, which often left customers confused about what they should be doing next. Many UK consumers would be required to call their old provider for a specific code in order to switch, a process which was both time consuming and off putting for many potential customers. 

Ofcom is now filtering switching down to just two simple processes, with the "gaining" provider now put completely in control of the move. Customers are no longer required to switch with a MAC code from their old provider, and will only need to contact them if they are moving to a completely different network (a standard connection to Virgin Media cable for instance).

On top of this providers must now keep records of each consumers intent to switch, protecting against "slamming" - where a customers supplier is changed without any prior knowledge or consent.

Sharon white, Ofcom Chief Executive, said:

The new process puts the responsibility for the switching process in the hands of the provider the customer is joining.

This will make a real difference for consumers, and will encourage more people to take advantage of very strong competition in the landline and broadband markets.

How do I start my broadband switch?

There are now just two simple processes for moving to a new provider. Which one you should follow depends on the type of broadband connection you are moving from and too. This will also affect how long it will take for your new service to get up and running.

Gaining provider led process

This is by far the most common process and is as easy as telling your new provider you're ready to make the switch, either by ordering a package online or over the phone. In fact, when you place an order with the free Simplifydigital switching support service, we'll inform your new provider on your behalf so you won't have to do anything further at all.

Both your new and old provider should then contact you by post or email, with details of:

  • the services which will be affected
  • the services which are unaffected, and
  • any early termination charges for the service your currently using.

The letters should also include further details of the switching process, including a reasonable estimate of how long it will take.

Cease and re-provide process

This process is only applicable if you are switching to or from a cable network, such as Virgin Media's superfast broadband service.

In this case you will need to contact your current provider to cancel your contract, as well as your new provider to arrange for the new service to be set up.

You can choose when each of these things happen, meaning you can overlap your contracts for a continuous service or start the new service once the old one has ended.

You will normally be contacted by your old supplier with notification that your contract is ending, along with any early termination charges that might be applicable. Your new provider will also send you any information you need, including when your new contract is due to start.

Do I need to change my phone line/line rental provider?

Depending on which supplier you move to or from, you may be asked to switch to a new landline provider. The switch will take place as part of the above processes, so there will be nothing extra to do. It's worth making sure you happy with any new line rental prices involved before you make the switch.

Will my TV service move too?

The process of switching your TV service may work slight differently to your broadband and landline switch. For instance Sky's Satellite TV service may require cancelling separately. Just ask one of our advisors or your new provider for information on how to make the switch as seamless as possible.

Will there be an exit fee?

Most broadband and home phone providers will require you to use their service for a certain period of time before you can freely switch. If you want to change providers before that time, then you may have to pay an early termination charge.

If you think you may be still under contract, it's worth checking with your current provider to find out just how much it would be to switch. Costs for switching early are worked out differently from supplier to supplier, however you should be provided with a complete run down of the bill if you do decide to make the switch.

Can I cancel my switch?

If you decide not to go ahead with your move, you'll have 14 calendar days to cancel your request to do so without being charged. Just contact your new provider and let them as soon as possible.

Where can I get more information on the new switching process?

Ofcom's website offers help and advice about all aspects of switching to a new provider. You can also speak to one of our experts, who'll be able to guide you step by step, from selecting the right deal to getting set up and installed as soon as possible.

Just call 0800 988 1458 to talk to our UK based Switching Support service today.

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