Lukewarm Reception for New UK Broadband ISP Switching System

A new survey of 748 ISPreview.co.uk readers (*), which is a broadband and Internet technology focused consumer information website, has revealed that 85% of respondents have at some point switched their Internet or phone provider. Never the less only 15.2% believe that Ofcom’s new migration system will make them more likely to switch in the future and that’s despite 66.5% saying they were aware of the new system.

Do you think Ofcom’s new process will make you more likely to switch?
No – 45.8%
Maybe – 38.8%
Yes – 15.2%

The telecoms regulator introduced its new harmonised approach to switching on 20th June 2015 (**), which puts all the migration power into the hands of the gaining provider instead of your existing one. As a result consumers who wish to swap ISPs need only contact their new / chosen ISP in order to begin the process of switching and everything else is handled automatically.

The need for a new system is supported by the fact that only a little over half of respondents to ISPreview.co.uk’s survey have actually experienced a smooth switching process, with others tending to find it either slow or problematic.

What was your experience of the switching process?
Smooth – 54.6%
Problematic – 25.1%
I’ve never switched – 13.2%
Slow – 6.9%

“It’s too early to say whether the improvements introduced by Ofcom’s harmonised switching process will overcome past problems or simply create new ones,” said ISPreview.co.uk’s Founder, Mark Jackson. “Never the less it’s clear that most consumers are aware of the change, even though only a small portion may feel specifically encouraged to swap because of its introduction.”

“The fact that switching is now much easier should be generally welcomed, although the process will still take around 10 working days to complete and currently only applies to ISPs that operate off KC’s network in Hull and Openreach’s (BT) national UK telecoms infrastructure. In an ideal world we’d like to see it being extended to include Virgin Media’s cable platform, although the physically separate nature of their network does present some complicated challenges,” concluded Jackson.

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