A simples guide

Should I check broadband coverage before buying a house?

We recognise that there are a thousand and one things to organise when you’re moving house, but thinking about your broadband service in advance could save you a lot of frustration and wasted time further down the line.

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 if you’re moving to a rural area it could be a very different story.


What should I do?

Planning is key. The earlier you think about your broadband, the better. You don’t really want to find out that it’s a problem when it’s too late. You’ll have lots to think about when you get close to your move date as it is. Plus, you might need to give broadband providers some time to get your new service worked out.

As soon as you’re thinking of moving you can use our broadband comparison service to see what broadband options are available to you.


Moving house, same provider

By using the broadband checker, you’ll see whether your current internet service provider or ISP operates in your new area. If they do, and you’re happy with the service they’re providing, moving shouldn’t be a big deal. But it’s worth giving them a call to discuss the service you receive and any additional charges. If you’re moving from the city to the countryside then you may have an additional charge for using the internet in a rural area.

If you're only part way into a broadband contract, it almost certainly 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 with the provider that switching your contract to a new address won't start a new minimum contract term. If they tell you 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.

You’ll need to do the maths and work out if this is cheaper overall than paying for the extra months at the more expensive price.

Regardless, make sure you let them know. Each company will have a slightly different process with regards to house moves. Some like BT and Sky have their own moving portals that you can log in to. 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 give customer services a call.

Switching to a better broadband deal at your new address

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.

Fibre optic coverage varies significantly depending on where you live, potentially opening up new options.

Alternatively, you might find that your broadband speed is slower at your new address simply because you now live further away from the telephone exchange or there's higher levels of congestion.

The broadband checker will show you exactly what's available at your new address and at what cost.

What if my current provider can’t help me?

There’s the chance when you move house that you find your current provider is unable to offer the same, or even any service at all at your new address. If this is the case, you may have no option but to sign up to a new provider when you move home.

As unfair as it seems, if you're still within your minimum contract term, you may have to buy your way out of your contract 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 about the situation to see if you are able to reduce or remove the charges altogether.

For some people moving broadband to a new address is simple. For others it can get more complicated. It’s always worth knowing as early as you can in the process.

Remember to use our broadband comparison service to compare prices and find the right package for you. We like making things simple so hopefully you’ll like what you see. If you do get stuck we’re also waiting to help you on the end of the phone. Just call our experts, 8am - 9pm Monday to Sunday, on 0800 276 1180.

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