When you’re in the process of moving to a new home it can be easy to forget about the broadband and leave it to the last minute. But it’s definitely worth spending a little time getting this utility organised, or you could find that you’re left without internet access for an extended period of time after you move. And now that so many of us work from home and rely on fast broadband, that could be seriously disruptive.
So what should you do with the broadband when moving home, how does the process work, and what can you expect in terms of costs and timescales? In this guide, we’ll explain what you need to know about broadband and moving home.
Before moving your broadband to a new home: availability, notice periods, and contract end dates
Before doing anything else, there are a few key bits of information you need to gather.
Broadband availability at your new home
First, check what kind of broadband and speeds are available at your new home. It is important to do this because coverage varies, and there is no guarantee that your existing provider will be able to supply the same speed or even offer any connectivity at all.
You could also discover that there is a faster service available, so it might be worth switching to a new internet service provider (ISP) to get a speed upgrade.
You can ask your current provider to check coverage, but they will only tell you about the services they offer; to get a more comprehensive picture use an independent broadband postcode checker.
Call your provider and ask them how much notice they need to move your broadband or cancel it.
It’s crucial to abide by these timeframes because otherwise you’ll have a delay in getting internet connected in the new home, or could face extra charges.
Contract end date
Finally, when speaking to your provider about coverage and notification periods, also ask them how long is left on your existing contract, and how much it would cost to cancel early. This will guide your next steps, because you can then decide whether switching to a new deal is worthwhile or if it is better to stick with your current provider. You’ll also have an idea of how much it’s going to cost if cancellation is unavoidable.
If your broadband contract is already outside the minimum term then you are free to switch without penalty, if required. Otherwise there will be a charge for early termination, and this can apply even if you are moving to an area where the provider does not have coverage.
How to move your broadband service to a new home
If your current provider covers the new address — and assuming you’re happy with the service up to that point — then taking the broadband with you is easy.
To do this, you just need to contact the customer service team (keeping in mind their notification period) and provide them with the details of your new home and the date you need the move to occur.
You’ll have to pass some security checks so have your account details ready, and if you’re not the person named on the contract they will need to be nearby to give you permission to speak to customer services.
If you have separate broadband and telephone providers you will need to contact each individually.
When the move occurs your broadband and phone will stop working on the specified date, and be activated at the new address. However, this might not happen until a few days after you’ve moved in so it might be necessary to have a back-up in place (such as a tethered smartphone) if internet access is vital.
Moving and switching providers
When moving and switching providers you will need to notify the current ISP of cancellation in advance, abiding by their notice periods. Leaving it to the last minute will not save money, you’ll only end up paying for the notice period even if you’re no longer there to use the broadband.
As well as cancelling the old service, you’ll also need to sign up for your new broadband provider. However, there can be a delay getting this set up because you’ll have to wait for the current occupant to cancel their phone and/or broadband service. And, if you are getting broadband and a phone line, it is best to get both from the same provider. Otherwise you will have to wait for the phone line to be activated before you can sign up for the broadband.
Moving home can be an opportunity to switch providers and get a new deal, but it is potentially more complicated and expensive than moving your existing service. Even if you’d prefer to switch, we recommend moving your current provider over first and dealing with a switch once you’re settled in. This will minimise the disruption, and help avoid any unnecessary expense if you’re still within the minimum contract period.