A Guide to Broadband when Moving Home

Moving home is both an exciting and stressful time in equal measure. If the prospect of bringing your broadband with you is a concern, then this guide offers some golden rules for a seamless switch.

Moving home broadband choices

Broadband is very much an important consideration when it comes to moving home. In all the planning to leave, many will worry about walking away from a good connection.

Will my new place have adequate speed or service? How might my provider handle any changeover so I’m not left offline?” These and many more are all reasonable questions to ask.

Thankfully any such worries are relieved by good planning. Take adequate time in advance to consider some tips for a successful broadband move.

Before you move

In the earliest stages of a new house hunt, think about broadband availability.

If you intend to leave a town or city for a more rural village, services may be more limited or remote. Maybe moving into an older property will mean older wiring etc or restrictions on installation? Renting in a shared block could also limit options.

Ask the estate or lettings agents and the current residents to find out what they currently use and what’s possible.

Surveying the area

Try running your own searches on a new area. Use a postcode checker on the new address to establish broadband availability.

Service types, providers and especially speed will vary across the country. This applies not only to fixed-line but mobile broadband too. 

If your move involves a switch between networks, such as BT Openreach to Virgin, or across postcode districts then a change might be unavoidable. Visit network provider websites to check on probable coverage within the new location.

In the event that a change seems necessary, speak to the current provider and find out the following:

  • Notice period – How much time is needed to notify on moving or cancellation? 
  • Expiry time – If the current contract is active, how long until it expires?
  • Cancellation fees – What will it cost to end or migrate the contract?

Can I lower the cost of my broadband contract when moving?

This might be an ideal time to shop around for a cheaper broadband package.

If you’ve already gone past the minimum term of your current deal (usually 12-24 months) the service just rolls until you freely cancel or upgrade.

Cancelling during a minimum term is usually subject to fees. This is an early termination and the cost will vary, depending on the months remaining.

Leaving and starting afresh with a new provider can be a way to take advantage of “new customer” discounts or rewards. Some providers may offer deals without a setup fee to pass on extra savings to the customer, handy with the other costs involved when moving home.

Staying with your provider

Should you choose to instead stay with a current provider, you could negotiate an improved deal if out of contract. Ultimately they will want to retain you and perhaps match, or better, a possible rival offer. 

In any case, it’s important to do the following:

  • Confirm the notice period – Ask how long the notice period for moving is, typically 2 weeks or 30 days.
  • Make timely contact – Once a moving date is confirmed, give notice to the provider ahead of time, taking into account the minimum notice periods you discovered earlier.

The provider will then make the arrangements to transfer over to the new address. This could be as easy as a “switch on” date, using existing equipment, or booking necessary installation work at the property.

Current providers will often expect out of contract customers to sign a new contract when moving an existing service to a new property. 

In each instance, be sure to compare market offers in order to get the best value for money.

Switching to a new provider

If you find a better deal elsewhere, there’s nothing stopping you signing up for a new contract with a new provider. This should happen at least 2 weeks prior to any move date.

Where possible make the new provider aware that this is for a new address and must be timed for activation on, or after, a confirmed moving in date.

Inform the current provider of this date within the required notice period. They can then arrange to have the existing service cancelled no later than the final day of residency.

Awaiting installation

Setup and installation in your new address will depend on your broadband package.

For example, a standard ADSL or fibre connection may only require a router. Plug this in and after an expected activation date or time, it’s hopefully on and ready to go.

However, you may have chosen a new deal from Sky that bundles TV services. This could require engineer assistance to install and calibrate equipment.

Similarly, a provider such as Virgin Media is more involved. They use a dedicated cable to deliver super-fast fibre speeds from the exchange cabinet.

With an appointment booked, all that remains is to wait for installation in your new home!