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A guide to switching your broadband provider

A guide to switching your broadband provider

Switching  broadband is increasingly simple. Indeed, an Ofcom survey of August 2016 claims that more than 80% of people found changing broadband providers easy. There are many reasons for switching your broadband provider – from looking for better value or a service upgrade, to suffering from poor performance or a bad customer experience.

Whatever reason you have for changing, here’s what to expect if you move broadband providers.  

Holly Niblett
From the Digital team
minute read
posted 9 OCTOBER 2019

Check your current contract before you compare

Before we get into how to switch your broadband, the first thing to do is to take a look at your current broadband contract and check:

  • Is there a minimum term and are you still in this period?
  • Is there a cancellation fee if you end your contract early
  • Is any potential cancellation fee less than the amount you could save by switching?

If you are out of contract, before you start comparing, it’s always worth speaking to your existing provider to see if they can offer you a better deal.

How to compare new broadband providers

We can help you compare prices to find a broadband deal that’s right for you. Whether you simply want to switch broadband for a better service or want a new package including landline and TV, we can make the search easy.

All you need to do is input your postcode and select what services you’re looking for and we’ll show you a list of packages to choose from.

Think you’ve found the right broadband deal for you? Make sure you have all the details on exactly what you'll be signing up for.  

It’s worth checking:

  • the contract duration 
  • speed estimates for your address
  • connection charges
  • line rental costs  
  • the total contract cost

Making the switch

Once you’ve found the right broadband deal for you and decided to switch, your new provider should arrange the whole transfer for you.

This includes letting your existing provider know that you’re moving. You‘ll then be sent notification emails or letters from both new and old broadband providers confirming the move.

These will include details of the date of transfer and if there are any outstanding charges to settle.

What if your new broadband provider can’t arrange the switch?

You’ll just need follow 3 easy steps:

  • Ring your new broadband provider and ask them when they’re available to come and transfer you over to the new contract.  
  • Book the date for the transfer
  • Call your old provider to confirm that you want to cancel on the day your new service starts.

Will I lose service during the switch?

Not normally. Switching broadband suppliers is a lot smoother than it used to be and in many cases you should be able to switch with little or no interruption in service. Your new provider will advise you when the switch will happen and if you will experience any loss of service.

If you're only switching your broadband (and keeping your existing telephone line) – you should only experience a few minutes of downtime as the switch automatically takes place.

If you're also switching landline providers – it’s worth checking with your new provider that there’s no additional downtime. This way if there is, you can make plans to minimise the effects of any disruption to you.

If you're switching between completely different types of broadband (such as cable broadband from Virgin to a fibre-optic service from BT or vice versa) – your old service cannot be switched automatically and must be fully cancelled and replaced with a new service. 

However, with good planning, you can still minimise downtime during the switch. There’s no reason why your old connection has to be switched off before your new service can be activated. You could simply leave both running until you’re happy. (Just be mindful of any cancellation notice that you have to give.

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