Guide To Broadband And Moving Home

Guide to broadband and moving home
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Planning on moving home soon? Found the perfect property and are planning your move? Confused by what to do with your broadband? Then our guide to broadband and moving home is for you.

Armed with our own experience, 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.

Renting or buying?

But before we get to our checklist, here is one thing to consider: are you buying or renting? 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.

When renting, it’s wise to obtain written permission from the agent or landlord providing consent before arranging installation.

While you have less control when you rent, the same steps will need to be taken when you move. In our guide to broadband and moving home we will provide you with a step-by-step checklist to help you with this aspect of moving.

Ideally, you would want to work through this guide at least a month before your moving date.

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1. Check your existing contract

Your first task for this guide to broadband and moving home 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.

guide to broadband and moving home - Always check your existing contract before moving!

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 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).

But one thing you should be aware of is that some internet providers are a bit sneaky. We had a situation, where we were on a rolling monthly contract. We had to give 30 days notice and cancel via a written letter.

So we arranged that from the date our letter was sent it was 30 days to our moving day, so that we would start paying for our new provider once we moved in and don’t have to worry about the old provider.

However, the internet provider used the date they started to process our letter as the start of the 30-day notice period. And it took them almost a month to acknowledge the letter. In effect, we had to pay an extra month.

We tried to remonstrate with them, but to no avail. One thing is for sure, we won’t go back to this provider ever again.

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2. 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.

When we moved to rural Lincolnshire we looked at several properties where the broadband connection was poor. As we would need to work from home, this was a key point for us.

We had to look into options such as satellite broadband in order to get around this issue. In the end, we decided the 20mb we would get was sufficient, but we have to be clever with it and plan when to download or upload large files to avoid slowing down the whole connection.

3. Switch or stay?

An important part of any guide to broadband and moving home is to decide whether you should remain with your current provider. You now know that you may have to pay early termination fees 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.

4. Broadband and the house move

Moving to a new house is full of challenges.

Now you have done your research, decided to take a new broadband contract or keep your existing one, what happens next?

4.1 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.

We have used this option before and the great thing about it is that you aren’t without an internet connection for long. We could arrange it so that the connection was switched over a day after moving day.

This meant that we had an internet connection in our new home in the afternoon after we moved in. This was very convenient and easy to arrange.

4.2 Moving and switching provider

For home movers who have decided to switch providers, the process is slightly different. But don’t worry, our guide to broadband and moving home will tell you what you need to do.

Moving within the BT Openreach Network

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 requires 15 days’ notice for a move while John Lewis requires just 7 days. Plusnet requires 21 days, Sky 14 days and TalkTalk 14 days. 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.

When we moved into our current property we moved from Virgin Media to BT, as Virgin Media didn’t serve the area we moved to. It was all very easy to arrange. We cancelled our contract with Virgin Media within the given notice period. We set the last day of our contract to be the moving day.

The new BT contract started a day after we moved in. We received the BT box on that day and could connect everything up, so we had internet connection in the afternoon.

Then we just had to pack the Virgin Media box in the package sent to us by them and send it back to them. It was all very simple and stress-free.

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.

5. Setting up broadband in your new home

Follow our advice when setting up the broadband in your new house.

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.

5.1 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.

We found that the best way to find a good place for the router is to ask the previous owners where they put theirs. This has worked for us on all of our moves so far.

We have also been lucky that our current house was previously owned by an electrician. He had the foresight to install ethernet points in most rooms, so we don’t struggle for a connection.

5.2 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.

My parents had to get signal boosters in their property due to an unreliable signal. They have ones that plug into the wall and act like ethernet points, so you can use them instead of connecting wirelessly. While they can be a little temperamental at times, for the most part they work well.

Signal boosters aren’t usually expensive and tend to be easy to install.

5.3 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 to 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 power line 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! These are the type my parents use.

Guide to broadband and moving home – 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 a long way – and this guide to broadband and moving home will help – 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.


  • Jason Taylor

    Jason is a former estate agent who now splits his time between managing his own property investment portfolio and writing for Property Road.

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