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A guide to broadband when moving home

A guide to broadband when moving home

An estimated 370,300 people in the UK moved home in 2017. If you’re joining them this year, you’ll be well aware that there are 1,001 things to organise. That’s why thinking about your broadband in advance could help save you a lot of frustration and wasted time further down the line.

Holly Niblett
From the Digital team
minute read
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Posted 7 JANUARY 2020

Should I check broadband coverage before buying a house?

It might be worthwhile. The UK currently has very different levels of broadband service depending on where you live. If you’re moving to or within a town or city, the chances are that your broadband service will be fine, but broadband in rural areas can be a different story.

Some providers have different prices depending on where in the country you live. There may also be different options to choose from at your new address.

Our broadband checker will show you exactly what's available in your area and the prices.

How much notice do I need to give my broadband provider?

You’ll need to give at least two weeks’ notice to your broadband provider when moving home. Be sure to check with your provider though, as notice periods can be up to six weeks.

Here are the costs and notice periods for the UK’s most popular broadband providers.  

Provider Notice period What to do Cost of moving New contract needed?
BT 6 weeks Use the portal Free (unless a new line needs to be installed) Only if you're in the last 3 months of your contract
Sky 2 weeks Use the portal Free. There will be fees for any installation No
Virgin Media 6 weeks Call customer services Admin charge Yes
Plusnet 3 weeks Call customer services Free with new contract No
TalkTalk 2 weeks Use the portal Free No

Should I switch broadband provider when I move?

If you're only part way into a broadband contract, it makes sense to stick with your current provider if possible, and simply move your existing contract to the new address.

Ending your contract early can result in cancellation penalties including paying up to the cost of all the remaining months of broadband and line rental you committed to.

Check that staying with your provider is an option or not and whether switching your contract to a new address won't start a new minimum contract term. If it will, there might be cheaper options available at your new address, making it worthwhile to pay off the rest of your existing contract and sign up for a cheaper deal.

What should I tell my existing broadband provider?

If your existing internet service provider operates in the area you’re moving to, and you’re happy with them, moving shouldn’t be a big deal. 

First, give them a call to discuss the service you’ll receive in your new home and any additional charges. If you’re moving from the city there may be an additional charge for using the internet in a rural area.

Broadband providers have slightly different processes with regard to house moves. Some, like BT, TalkTalk and Sky, have their own moving portals that you can log into. Here you’ll provide your move dates and leave them to get on with it. With others, such as Virgin Media or Plusnet, you’ll need to call their customer services team and tell them about your move.

What if my current broadband provider can’t provide a service at my new home?

If your existing broadband provider is unable to offer you their service at your new address, you’ll need a new broadband provider when you move.

Unfortunately, if you're still within your minimum contract term, you may have to pay termination/cancellation costs or continue paying for the remaining months even though you can’t actually receive the service. 
In this instance it may be worth talking to your provider to see if you’re able to reduce or remove the charges altogether. According to Ofcom, 52% of broadband switchers were ‘very or fairly surprised’ to have to pay early termination costs when they move. So be aware that this could affect you. 

As soon as you’re thinking of moving, you can use our broadband comparison service to see what broadband services are available to you in your new home. If you get stuck, just call an expert on 0800 276 1180, 8am-9pm Monday to Sunday.

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