Broadband and moving home

18th October 2021 posted in Buyers Tenants

Moving home is never simple, but you can give yourself a shot at the easy life by ensuring your broadband internet is set up as smoothly as possible after your move.

What to check before you move

Before moving – perhaps before you even commit to a rental or exchange contracts for a purchase – check the internet coverage for your new address. Is fibre broadband an option? Will you need to switch to a new provider, or can you remain with your current ISP?

As with checking council tax and school OFSTED reports, you can find the details with some online research. A fibre broadband checking tool will tell you what speed internet you can expect in a particular location if you know the postcode.

If the place you're moving to is covered by your current provider, moving the internet package across should be straightforward. However, it is worth taking the time to contact your provider to check some details: notice period for moving or cancelling your contract, the time left on it, and any fees associated with moving or cancelling.

In some cases, you'll need to switch providers. This usually occurs when moving to a location that your current provider doesn't cover. In some cases, this might be an entire area, such as those provided with cable TV and internet by Virgin Media. On the plus side, Virgin Media's cable internet is faster than any Openreach-based fibre broadband through a BT line.

If you stay with your current provider 

Staying with the same provider makes things much easier.

Once the house move is finalised, contact your provider to confirm the details. They'll need the expected move date so they can arrange for the property to be connected to their network. For Openreach lines, this is usually fast as BT, Vodafone, Plusnet, EE, and many other providers run on that network, so you can switch between them with relative ease.

Your phone call should not take long, with the ISP agreeing on a date for switching on phone and internet access in the new property. Obviously, this can't happen until you own the house or flat, or your tenancy is confirmed.

With the move arranged you should then be able to plug your existing router (and TV streaming box) into the phone socket at the new property without even requiring an engineer to visit. But make sure you have a mobile phone handy just in case things aren't correctly hooked up.

What you need to know about switching

If the end of your current broadband contract coincides with when the move occurs, or you must switch because of where the property is, finding a new provider is vital. While it might sound like additional work, you could end up saving money.

After searching for a new broadband provider and settling on a deal that meets your speed and budget requirements, you'll need to contact the provider with the date you intend the deal to start from. This should be on or after the date you expect to move into the property, rather than before.

Also, contact your existing ISP, informing them of the coming move and that you will need to cancel the contract. As noted above, you should find out about any fees or charges associated with this process.

Installation of hardware in your home

In the event of switching being your chosen (or only) option, you'll need to arrange for the installation of network hardware in the new home. 

As noted, if you're switching between providers who utilize the Openreach network, this should at most be a case of a physical line check, perhaps a connection to the local box, and a complimentary router set up. If all that connectivity is already in place, however, they'll send you the router to plug in yourself.

Moving to a Virgin Media-connected home? You'll receive a router to plug in when you're ready to go online, and a TV box to do the same with if that's part of the package. Virgin Media rarely need to visit properties.

Sometimes, things go wrong: common issues

Plans can fall apart. You might get in early, provide all the information your ISP needs, but still find you or they are hit by delays. While switching is far easier than it used to be, you might still find things go wrong, especially when it comes to moving away from the Openreach network to Virgin Media. 

And then there is the hardware. ISP-provided routers are designed to be as easy to set up as possible, but this isn't always the case. 

In short, things can go wrong that might require you to make one or more phone calls for assistance. Most providers have support throughout (and at times beyond) usual business hours, so you should be able to get things sorted. Just remember to remain calm and realistic about your expectations and the ISP's ability to deliver on them.