Ofcom Keep Close Tabs on TOTSCo’s Progress with Broadband Switching

The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has formally served a statutory information request to check up on UK ISPs and progress in the One Touch Switching Company (TOTSCo), which is responsible for implementing the regulator’s heavily delayed One Touch Switch (OTS) migration system for faster consumer broadband ISP switching.

The new approach expands the existing Gaining Provider Led (GPL) migration system to work across alternative networks (the old system was mostly only focused on Openreach based providers) and to action switches within just 1 day instead of 10 days “where technically possible“. But that has required masses of internet providers to work together, and the development process has been a bit rocky.

NOTE: TOTSCo states that the ISPs currently participating in their system reflect a combined market-share of 97%.

TOTSCo are currently aiming for the new OTS system to go live on 12th September 2024 (here), which is over a year past its original launch date of April 2023. Ofcom have naturally made no secret of their frustration with the delays and previously singled out BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk and Virgin Media (VMO2) for not being able to complete the necessary testing and trials in a timely fashion (here).

Suffice to say that it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that the regulator has now served a statutory information request upon TOTSCo, which requires them to provide specified information pursuant to section 135 of the Communications Act 2003.

The exact details of this notice are confidential, but it is known that it “requires TOTSCo to provide Ofcom with information on the progress of [OTS] implementation, including measures of individual and aggregate [Communication Provider] activity in both the test and live hub environments” (i.e. roughly, how much progress is being made and who is playing catch-up).

The CEO of TOTSCo, Paul Bradbury, briefly acknowledged that the notice had been received during Friday’s blog post (here), while also highlighting a “significant milestone” after their “Industry Trial participants … successfully executed the first end-to-end One Touch Switches in the live environment. This achievement marks a crucial step forward in validating the OTS process as we prepare for go-live on 12 September.”

Recent Posts