Broadband and Moving Home

In this guide from Broadband Genie, we advise on what to do before the move and keeping your current provider, before considering new deals, lines or cable installations.

Thankfully, the old adage that “you can’t take it with you” isn’t universally true. When it comes to broadband and moving home, you very much can take it with you or indeed
start afresh.

That’s because staying online is very much considered an essential domestic utility for not only web access but also TV and home working. So as long as you give the changeover the same planning you apply to juggling electricity, gas and water services, you’ll be fine.

Before You Move

As with most arrangements around a move, don’t leave things until the last minute. It’s actually worth making investigations on broadband options while considering properties. Provider websites offer postcode checkers that may help guide your choices here, while you raise availability questions with estate agents, sellers or landlords.

Think about your current package too. Speak to your provider and once you have a new address and phone number, ask them to run any checks or tests for the house. From here you may ascertain that their coverage is limited there or simply unavailable completely.

In this event, you may need to consider switching. If your contract’s minimum term has expired, typically after 12, 18, or 24 months, you can technically leave with no charge. While still inside this period you will likely face an early release penalty, so be mindful of this along with fees for moving if you stay.


Moving your current provider

Staying with and moving your provider usually just requires enough warning. When you have a confirmed date for the big day, be sure to notify at least 2 weeks beforehand. This is standard practice for all the leading providers and often they have web support forms for making a booking.

TalkTalk, for example, stipulate 14 days notification but no more than 3 months prior. You can book the switch online once you have a new address and moving date confirmed, subject to a £60 service charge.

As far as your current account goes, during the switchover it basically ceases at the old address. You can negotiate precisely when broadband services will stop so you don’t lose access for too long before the removal trucks arrive.

Switching Providers

Of course this “switch off” will also apply if you opt to leave your current provider instead.

Maybe this is the ideal time to shop around? Enter your postcode into a broadband comparison service and you can see the latest enticing deals in your area. Again, just be mindful to factor in those cancellation costs where applicable.

Either way, it is incumbent upon you as the customer to give adequate notice of cancellation too. Providers often want a minimum 14 days or at least a month’s notice in writing, with many offering templates for doing so online.

Sky broadband packages, for example, tend to have a minimum contract term of 18 months. Any cancellations during that time are subject to termination charges based on days left, days billed for in advance and the products subscribed.

New Line Installations

In rare circumstances, your new place might not be broadband ready. It might have local access to the services you want to bring, but perhaps for whatever reason, the internal wiring might be lacking. For domestic landline broadband services, this really equates to line reactivation or installation of a new one.

UK properties will generally have BT branded phone sockets already present and it is these existing lines that are checked by a provider during the changeover. Obviously, if you plan to continue or switch to BT then they will be more inclined to troubleshoot basic issues at lower or no cost.

However, in those cases where fresh new or additional lines might require Openreach installation, there will be charges that vary by provider. BT, for instance, suggest a £130 charge, with 2-3 weeks the estimated installation time. Be aware that renters should seek permission from agents or landlords prior to setups that demand such work.

A Virgin Connection?

Some providers, of course, don’t use traditional “plumbing” so to speak. Virgin Media, for example, eschews the traditional telephone line and uses its own ‘Hybrid Fibre Coaxial’ (HFC) technology (which you may know as cable internet). This ensures and retains a marketed speed regardless of distance, which is necessary for any bundled TV services you may want.

Virgin claims that installations generally take 2 hours or more depending on complexity. They warn this may involve some digging and drilling, while shared driveways require consent from your new neighbours. Pre-install engineers can be arranged to view and discuss this process before perhaps booking the work to coincide with your arrival.