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POSTED 15 November 2018 General

Broadband and Moving House

With so much going on during a house move it’s easy to leave your broadband service to the last minute, but this can result in delays and extra costs. However a little time and effort spent dealing with broadband in advance of your move can pay off later on.


Matt Powell, Editor at Broadband Genie explains how to deal with your broadband during a move to improve your chances of getting a connection up and running on moving day, and perhaps upgrading to a better service at the same time.

First step: contacting your provider

Before doing anything else with the broadband, contact your existing internet service provider (ISP) and confirm how far in advance they need to be notified of a house move or cancellation. This is very important because if you leave it too late you could end up paying for a service you can no longer use, and delay the activation of broadband connectivity in your new pad.

At the same time find out how long you’ve got left on your existing contract, and the potential cost of ending the contract early (you may not want to but as we’ll explain below it is sometimes unavoidable). 

Checking broadband coverage

At some point early on you’ll need to investigate what kind of broadband is on offer at the new home. If this is really important you may even want to take it into consideration when choosing a property. 

You can ask your provider to check availability, but they will only tell you about the services they offer. A better option is to head over to www.SamKnows.com and use the broadband availability tools to get a broader overview of potential services.

Ideally, search using a phone number and postcode because this can confirm the availability to an exact property. If this isn’t an option, use a postcode and address search. You can also check with only a postcode but this will just say what kind of broadband services are on offer at the exchange serving that location - it does not tell you whether a particular broadband service will work at a specific address. 

Switch or stay?

The next step is to decide whether you want to keep the same provider, or switch.

Moving home can be a good time to reconsider your current broadband service and maybe take the opportunity to switch to a different service.

But if you’re still in contract this can be expensive. And if you already have a good deal then it makes sense to stick with it, at least until the contract ends. 

However this decision is dependant on broadband coverage at the new property. You may find that your current provider cannot offer the same service, something which is especially problematic with Virgin Media as it operates its own network with a smaller footprint than the Openreach (BT) network. If you move out of a Virgin area you will still have to pay a cancellation fee.

But you could also discover that the new home has access to better broadband. Perhaps there’s a wider choice of providers, or you can get a faster speed. You can then decide whether you wish to upgrade with your current ISP, renegotiate your deal or switch to a new package. 

How to move your broadband

If you decide to stay with the current provider then it’s fairly simple to arrange a move.

  1. First find out their timescales for arranging a house move. Typically they require a minimum of two weeks notice, but always confirm.
  3. Once you have a moving date contact your ISP to advise them of the day you want service to end at the old home and begin at the new.
  5. On the day of your move the provider will cease service and activate the new line. In some cases an engineer will be required at the new property so you’ll need to make sure someone is in all day. 

Cancelling your broadband

Should you choose to cancel the broadband service you’ll need to notify the old provider within their minimum notification period and arrange for the final service date. It is important to do this on or before your moving day, otherwise the new occupant could find the line is blocked. 

To get broadband at the new address you simply need to choose a broadband deal and arrange for it to be activated on the day you move in (or as close to it as possible). Aim to do this at least two weeks ahead of the move so the provider has time to setup the new service.

Moving into or out of a Virgin Media network area

If you currently have Virgin Media broadband but are moving to a home that does not have access, then you will have no choice but to cancel the service and switch providers.

When moving into a home in a Virgin network area you might find that a Virgin socket is already installed. Since Virgin is significantly faster than many other broadband services it may be preferable to cancel your old ISP contract and switch. If you don’t want to do this it might be necessary to setup a new Openreach phone line, and typically this costs an extra £60-£100.