Virgin Media broadband customers will be able to switch more easily from 2023
Virgin Media broadband customers, as well as those on other non-copper networks, will be able to switch more easily from April 2023 using new 'one touch switching' rules that will be brought in by telecoms regulator Ofcom.
Update: 3 April 2023: Broadband firms have failed to implement the new 'one touch switching' process in time for this month's deadline, regulator Ofcom confirmed today. See our Easier broadband switching delayed story for the latest.
The change means all home broadband users, including cable and full fibre customers, will only need to contact their new chosen provider in order to switch companies.
Currently customers supplied by non-copper networks, such as those with Virgin Media broadband, who want to switch between different networks, say from fibre optic to copper or between two different cable providers, need to contact both their existing and new providers. From April 2023 that will change, Ofcom said today.
It is only people on a copper network, such as those used by BT, Sky and TalkTalk, who can currently switch between other copper network providers using the one touch process. Under the new system, these customers will also now be able to switch to non-copper providers under the scheme.
Check out our Cheap Broadband Deals guide for more on how to save money and switch.
Here's how it's going to work
- From April 2023, you'll only need to contact your new provider, no matter who your current provider is. Once you've done this, you'll then receive all the important information you need automatically from your current provider, such as your final bill. Your new provider will then manage the switch.
- The process may take longer if you're switching from a non-copper to a copper network or vice versa. If you want to switch from a non-copper network (such as Virgin Media) to a copper network (such as Openreach, which is used by BT and Sky), then your property will need to have a physical connection to that network, just like you do now.
If you already have a connection, for example if you used to be with Virgin Media, switched to Openreach and then switched back again, moving can take as little as one day. However, if you don't have a connection and a visit from an engineer is required, it could take longer.
- You will probably need a new router. As is usually the case now, if you're switching provider you'll probably need a new router, unless you bought your own and/or your current router can be used with your new provider. Just ask your new provider what the best option is.
What does Ofcom say?
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's networks and communications group director, said: “Household finances are strained at the moment, so switching broadband provider could help keep your bills down. We’re making it as easy as possible for you to break up with your broadband provider and take advantage of the deals on offer.”