When you’re in the process of moving home, there are always a million tasks requiring your attention. And one thing that’s increasingly important in our lives today is ensuring that we have internet access in the new home.
It isn’t complicated, but it may not be something you’ve done before, and there are a few common pitfalls to avoid. In this guide, we’ll explain how you go about moving or switching broadband when settling into a new place, and hopefully, take a little bit of the stress out of your moving day.
Before you move – checking contracts and coverage
The first step is to contact your existing broadband provider to find out several key bits of information:
- How much time – if any – is left on your broadband contract.
- How much it might cost you to cancel your contract.
- How much it might cost you to move your broadband to a new address.
- How much notice your broadband provider requires to either move or cancel your service.
All of these are important, though number 4 is the most crucial; if you leave it too late to notify your ISP (Internet Service Provider) about a move or cancellation, you’ll face delays and additional costs.
Once you’ve got the above info, the next stage is to check broadband coverage at your new address.
To do this, use an online postcode check to see the available services.
This is also something your existing ISP can do when you contact them, but they will only tell you about their services. You might be able to get a faster or cheaper deal (perhaps both) with another provider, so it’s well worth looking at the bigger picture.
As well as finding out about potential cost savings or upgrades, checking coverage will also show whether you might end up with a slower speed. Coverage varies around the country, and there is no guarantee that you can get the same provider or the same type of broadband when you move. Having this information will help you decide whether it is best to switch or stick with your current provider.
When you’re ready to move – cancelling or keeping your broadband
Once you’ve got a moving date, you’ll need to contact your existing ISP within their minimum notice period.
If you’ve decided to cancel the broadband, you need to ask them to end the service as close to the day you leave as possible. Ideally, it will be the same day, but if that’s not possible, you should end the contract at some point before your moving date. If you leave it too late, you’ll end up paying for the service even after you’ve left, and could block the line for the next occupant.
When cancelling and switching providers you will also need to sign up for the new service with enough notice that it can be activated as close as possible to the moving in date. It usually takes around 14 working days to set up broadband, but you should contact your new ISP and confirm their timescales. It may also be possible to pick a specific date for installation.
If moving the broadband, you’ll need to get in touch with your provider within the minimum time frame specified (usually something in the region of two weeks, but it can be longer). Give them the details of your new address, and they will end your service at the old address on or near the day you leave, and arrange to activate broadband at the new home on or near your moving-in date.
In either case, you should be prepared for delays. In an ideal scenario, your connection will be up and running on or just after the moving day, but if something goes wrong or you do not meet the ISP’s time frames you could be waiting days or even weeks to get broadband. It’s sensible to have a backup option just in case.
A mobile broadband service can be a suitable replacement in the short term, but unless you already own a dongle and SIM card there will be some expense involved, and that may not be cost-effective if it’s just to plug a gap of a few days. Instead, you can use a smartphone with Wi-Fi tethering (also known as a Wi-Fi Hotspot or Wi-Fi Sharing) to connect computers and other devices to a mobile network. But before you do this, check with the mobile network operator to find out if there is any fee involved, and confirm any data usage restrictions to avoid a surprise charge in your next bill.