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© GetAgent Limited 2021
  1. Blog
  2. Broadband and moving home
Home buying tips & advice
12 October 2021

Broadband and moving home

Sam Edwards
Writer

Moving house can be incredibly stressful. For most people, relief comes when they make that first cup of tea in their new home. That is, until they realise they have no internet.

You can save time and effort by ensuring your broadband is sorted before you move home. That way, it’ll be ready to use on the big day.

Before you move house (or even buy)

When you're planning to move house, you probably check things like your distance from work, school reports, and council tax. But you should also check the internet speeds that are available. Speeds vary massively depending on where you are, and not all areas have access to superfast broadband.

Most broadband comparison sites will tell you the speeds and prices available in your area. They can also help you find the services available in the area you're moving to. Is it served by Virgin Media's cable network, or Openreach's fibre network? Or is it a rural area, relying on DSL over a traditional phone line?

You should also investigate the possibility of staying with your current provider. This means a lot less fuss, particularly if you get the same speeds.

When do you move broadband when moving house?

You should look into moving broadband as soon as you confirm your new address. You can then speak to your new or current broadband provider, and book in your transfer as close to the moving date as possible.

If switching is preferable or enforced however, you should take the time to find out what’s available before you start viewing properties. You can check what deals are available in your new area by entering your new postcode into a broadband comparison site. With your choice made, consult your current ISP about what notice is required for moving and cancelling, and any associated costs. If you're considering taking your broadband package with you, be clear on the procedure for doing so.

What happens to my broadband when I move home

What happens to your broadband when you move depends on the contract you have with your provider. If you have quite a few months left on your contract, you might want to take your broadband hub with you. To do this, you would have to change the address registered with your provider, and check you’re still within their coverage area.

If you’re not within their coverage area, this might be a good time to switch providers. If you have a few months left on your contract, you can cancel by paying an exit fee.

Moving home and staying with your ISP

Staying with your Internet Service Provider (ISP)? Notify them of the move details as soon as you can. This way, you can ensure your schedules are aligned, and any connection work that needs doing on the property can be done when you've moved in.

Without notifying your ISP, you're in breach of the agreement you've made when signing up. Providing the move details and adhering to the notice period is important and should be done as soon as you know the details.

Can you move house during a broadband contract?

Yes you can move house during a broadband contract. However, the same speeds or packages may not be available in the area you move to.

How do I change my address with my broadband provider?

In most cases, you can change your address with your broadband provider on the phone, or through their website.

Can you move your internet when you move?

Yes you can move your internet when you move, but you may not get the same options in the new house.

Should changes be required to the new property's connection to the phone lines, your ISP will send an engineer to test the line and make the necessary alterations. They'll typically set up the router at the same time. If no changes are required, the router will come through the post for you to hook up yourself. Once you’ve moved, the ISP will update your address, ensure you're still on the correct package, and handle anything else that needs sorting.

How to move your broadband to a new house

Every broadband service has different requirements for when you move house.

According to advice from most providers, you should probably start thinking about this process at least a month before you move. That way, you can avoid any drops in service.

If you’re with Sky Broadband

You just need to confirm your new address and moving date at least two weeks before you move. Depending on your network coverage, you may be able to upgrade, or you might have to downgrade.

If you’re with BT Broadband

Like with Sky, you just need to confirm a few details:

  • Your account number
  • Your phone number
  • Your new address
  • Your postcode
  • Your moving date

BT Broadband is the UK’s most established provider, so it’s unlikely your coverage will be poor when you move with them.

If you’re with Virgin Media

While Sky and BT Broadband use the same cable network, Virgin have their own. This makes things a little bit more complicated when you move home because it’s less widely available.

If you manage to transfer your existing account to your new address, you’ll need to contact Virgin and provide the following:

  • Your account number
  • Your current and new address
  • Your phone number
  • Your moving date
  • Your preferred installation date

You’ll need to give at least one month’s notice before you move and pay at least £20 in service fees.

Can you switch broadband providers when moving house?

Yes you can switch providers when moving house, but you might be charged an exit fee if this happens during your contract period. While you have the option of porting your current package to the new house, this might not always be the best choice. However, things can get complicated if you do decide to switch.

For example, you might be moving to or from a property that has a link to the cable network controlled by Virgin Media. These packages cannot be moved to locations that Virgin Media does not support. Meanwhile, properties in Virgin Media areas without a BT line (or a live connection) will need an engineer to visit to ensure the phone line and port can handle the data requirements. Similarly, if you're moving to or away from Hull, you will need to change providers as the city has its own cable infrastructure.

Whatever the case, you should take the time to contact your provider within the notice period to request an end to the contract. Agree on a date close to your moving date, and then find a new deal using a broadband comparison tool. Broadband Genie for example breaks down the monthly cost vs the effective monthly cost across the contract. Most ISPs will let you sign up weeks in advance, ready for you to choose an installation date after (or on) your move-in date.

As before, if an engineer is needed, the new ISP will arrange this based on your chosen installation date.

Just moved in? Get online fast

Moving into a property that is already connected is best. If this is possible, then all you'll need to do is hook up the cable to your router, connect to the Wi-Fi, and enjoy the internet.

Unfortunately, it’s not always this simple. You might have to consider where the best Wi-Fi coverage is in the new house. Is it a practical location for the router?

The best location is usually somewhere central, for uniform coverage. If this isn't possible, it's smarter to connect as close to the port as possible, and use powerline adapters and Wi-Fi boosters to increase network coverage around your home.

Ethernet is faster, but you probably don't want cables lying all over the place. Powerline adapters feature Ethernet ports, but if you're having electrical work done, Ethernet ports and cabling can be installed at the same time.

Naturally, this is an ideal situation that might not be practical. It all depends on your home setup. To play it safe, make sure you know how to use your smartphone's hotspot (internet sharing feature), or buy a PAYG mobile W-Fi router to keep yourself online until your broadband internet is ready.

How long does it take to set up the internet in a new house?

Setting up the internet in a new house only takes a few minutes if there is already a connection. If they need to install equipment, it will usually take a couple of hours. Getting an appointment for them to install the equipment can take a few weeks, so call as early as you can.

Can I take my equipment with me?

If you are staying with the same provider, you can take your equipment with you. If you are changing providers, most will make you send back the equipment, or will charge you extra for keeping it.

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