Planning on moving home soon? Found the perfect property and are planning your move? Confused by what to do with your broadband?
Want to know your options? Want to get a new deal or move your existing connection? If you answered yes to any of those questions, this article is for you!
We’re going to walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. Starting with checking your existing contract, seeing what deals are out there, whether to switch or stay with your current contract all the way to setting up your broadband connection in your new home. Everything you need to know about broadband and moving home.
What to do before you move
There is a lot of preparation that needs to take place before a house move. Broadband is just one item on a long list of tasks you have to work through before the big day. Fortunately, if you follow this guide, you can make sure your broadband connection will be ready to go when you get the keys.
Ideally, you would want to work through this guide at least a month before your moving date.
Check your existing contract
Your first task is to check your current broadband contract to see where you are. Contracts come with a fixed term and then switch to a rolling monthly contract.
For example, when you sign up for a new deal, it will very likely be for a 12,18 or 24 month contract. This is the fixed term part. Once you have completed those 12,18 or 24 months, the contract automatically switches to a rolling monthly contract.
If you’re currently within the fixed term period of your current broadband contract and decide to leave, you may have to pay an early termination fee. This is usually your monthly contract amount multiplied by the number of months left.
Some broadband providers will waive this fee if you ask nicely but most will not. You may even have to pay early termination fees even if the provider is unable to offer service at your new home. You will need to discuss your situation with your provider to see what they can do.
If you have completed the fixed term and are on the rolling monthly contract, you can cancel for free if you give the appropriate notice to your provider (often for 30 days, but check with your ISP to see what notice they require).
Renting or buying?
If you’re buying your new home then you have total control over what services you connect to it. If you’re renting, you have less control.
It will be worth asking the letting agent or landlord what broadband connection was previously at the property and what conditions, if any, there are with installing a broadband connection.
If the property was previously connected to broadband, no invasive work should need to happen to connect it again. If the property has not had broadband before, some invasive work may need to occur to connect it.
It is wise to obtain written permission from the agent or landlord providing consent before arranging installation.
Check coverage at your new address
Once you know your new address, use a broadband coverage checker to see what your options are at your new home. You will be able to quickly see what deals, network speeds and options you have at your new address and make an informed decision about whether to switch or stay with your current provider.
Even if you’re planning to take your existing contract with you, it’s good to see what is available in your new area, and what potential deals you can use to bargain with your current provider.
You may notice when checking coverage that a site requests the phone number instead of postcode. This is to provide a more accurate picture of what exactly you can get at the new property. If you don’t know the phone number at the new address use the postcode instead.
Switch or stay?
Now you know whether you may have to pay early termination fees or not and what broadband deals are available at your new address, you can begin making decisions.
Should you switch to a new broadband deal or stay with your current provider? Only you can answer this question but now you have a clearer picture of your options, you can make an informed choice.
If there are faster or cheaper broadband packages available at your new address, it may be worth switching. You could get more speed, higher data allowance, more features or a lower monthly fee. The downside is the potential for early termination fees from your current provider and the fact you’re starting a new contract with a new fixed term.
If your current contract is competitive with those currently available, it may be worth staying and having the provider move your connection to the new address.
The advantage here is that the fixed term part of your contract continues rather than restarts offering the freedom to switch at a more convenient time. The downside is that you may miss out on any new customer discounts from a new provider.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure to give your current provider at least 30 days’ notice of leaving or moving. Not all providers need that long but it’s a safe minimum to ensure you can book installation on a day of your choosing.
Broadband and the house move
Now you have done your research, decided to take a new broadband contract or keep your existing one, what happens next?
Moving and keeping your current provider
If you decide to stay with your current broadband provider the process is very straightforward. Contact them to tell them of the move and that you would like to move the connection. They will arrange for the switchover to happen on the agreed day. Everything will stay the same except you’ll be in your new home.
An engineer may need to visit to connect your broadband or may not. Your provider will let you know and schedule a date and approximate time if an engineer visit is necessary.
Moving and switching provider
Moving home while switching provider is very similar. If both providers use the BT Openreach network then most of the work is done for you. Like switching gas or electricity suppliers, switching broadband all happens behind the scenes. It is called ‘Gaining provider led process’ and works the same way as switching utilities.
You will need to give notice to your old provider and arrange an installation date with your new provider and sign some forms but that’s all you will need to do.
As an example of current notice times, BT require 15 days’ notice for a move while John Lewis requires just 7 days. Plusnet requires 21 days, TalkTalk 14 days and Virgin Media 14 days’ notice. Check with your provider to see what notice period they require for arranging a move.
An engineer may need to visit to set up your connection but everything else to do with a broadband switch is handled for you.
Moving to or from Virgin Media
If you’re leaving Virgin Media, the process is the same as leaving any other broadband provider. You cancel your contract, pay any early termination fee, send the router back and move home. Your new provider will need to install your broadband connection at your new property and you go from there.
Sometimes, if you’re moving to somewhere not covered by Virgin Media, they may waive the early termination fee. This isn’t always the case so it’s well worth asking.
If you’re moving to a Virgin Media cabled area, your old provider will cancel your contract and an engineer will need to visit your new property to install the connection. If the previous household was a Virgin Media customer, an engineer may not need to visit at all. The company offers a self-service connection where you can do your own installation.
Setting up broadband in your new home
Once your broadband is connected at your new home, you may have a little setup to do. It is very straightforward and takes just a few minutes. Here are some changes you might like to make to get the best out of your broadband.
How to get the best Wi-Fi signal
Your broadband router will provide a Wi-Fi network. To get the best signal, you should place your router in the centre of your home, away from large electrical items and appliances and away from any thick walls.
Router placement may take a little experimenting as you get to know your home but placing it in the heart of the home is a good place to begin.
How to improve Wi-Fi signal using boosters
If you have moved to a larger or older property with thick walls, you may find that your Wi-Fi signal is weak in places. You can work around this with signal boosters. These are small devices that plug into the mains and boost your router’s Wi-Fi signal in hard to reach places. They are relatively inexpensive and simple to set up.
Networking your home
If your new home needs rewiring, it is the ideal opportunity to have your property networked at the same time. You can request your electrician network your home alongside the new wiring for a modest extra fee.
This could provide the ideal way to have broadband anywhere in your home without having to use Wi-Fi. You can find a qualified electrician from the NICEIC website.
Alternatively, you could use powerline adapters. These are small devices that plug into the mains and turn your home’s electrics into a computer network. Plug one end into the mains and connect it to your router and plug the other end where you need the connection. Connect your device to the adapter and you’re ready to go!
Have a good move
On behalf of everyone at Property Road, we hope your move goes smoothly and is as stress-free as possible! Remember, a little research goes as long way and regardless if you’re in or out of your minimum contractual period, your provider will be more than happy to help you along the way.