Many telcos aren't ready for Ofcom's new switching plan

A bundle of optical fibres: Even fibre optic broadband isn't safe from VoIP network jitter
(Image credit: Denny Müller on Unsplash)

Two in five (39%) of telecommunication service providers in the UK don’t know what one-touch switching (OTS) is, a new report from Vitrifi found. 

The one-touch switch is a program designed by Ofcom to make it easier for consumers to switch to a different (usually cheaper or faster) broadband service. The deadline to become compliant with this new program was April 3, 2023.

Yet of the 98 telco decision makers in the UK that were polled for the report, 80% said they weren't ready for the deadline. To make matters worse, two in five (39%) said that at the moment, they're not doing anything to prepare for the OTS requirement.

Cultural barriers

When asked why they still weren't compliant with Ofcom's new requirements, the majority (28%) said their organization relied on legacy systems too heavily. A significant portion (18%) said their organization didn't have the skills or technical capacity to pull it off, while 12% stated they believed the deadline wouldn't be enforced. One in ten (11%) didn't have the money to pull it off, and 3% said it had "cultural barriers" to overcome. 

There is a number of organizations preparing for the switch. Vitrifi didn’t say exactly how many, but it did add that 28% of them are implementing a single technical solution to aid in the switch. More than half (52%) are implementing three or more services which increase costs and complexity but also extend the lifecycle of internal systems.  

“The UK’s telco sector has been collectively trying to migrate off legacy OSS/BSS systems, but due to complexity has been challenged with the network and cost economics of the changes required,” commented Richard Jeffares, CEO of Vitrifi. “With the arrival of substantial FTTP investment in the UK, we are about to hit a period of seismic change and OTS is a significant factor, helping to introduce more innovative product optionality that will greatly improve the wider UK broadband customer experience.” 

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.