Broadband Internet and Moving House: What You Need to Know
Moving house is rarely a simple process. From packing your belongings to letting your utility providers know about your new address, the numerous tasks involved in moving into a new home or apartment can quickly become quite stressful. Luckily, letting your broadband provider know you’re moving and setting up your broadband Internet connection at your new home is surprisingly quick, simple and stress-free. In this guide, we’ll explain what you should do before and after you move to make sure you get uninterrupted (or close to uninterrupted) broadband Internet at your new home as soon as you’ve moved in.
Are you satisfied with your broadband provider?
Moving house is a great opportunity to change broadband providers. According to research from Ofcom, about 20% (that’s one in five) people are disappointed with their broadband provider’s service. Another 25% only have a neutral opinion. If you’re dissatisfied with your current broadband provider, moving house is a good opportunity to compare other providers and find out if you could get a better deal or a faster connection with another provider.
Broadband providers typically sign you into a 12 or 18 month contract when your service begins. If you change providers while moving house, you might need to pay an early termination fee to your broadband provider. These fees have recently been capped, meaning you probably won’t need to spend more than you would for a few months of service. You can find termination fees for broadband providers like BT, TalkTalk and other providers online at Choose.
Your current provider might charge moving fees
Even if you choose to stay with your current broadband provider, you could face a moving fee. These fees can often be avoided if you sign a long-term contract for 12 to 18 months of broadband connectivity before moving into your new home. Contact your current broadband provider as early as possible before moving to let them know that your address will be changing. Most ISPs require a notice period of at least two weeks, although some require more notice. Virgin Media, for example, recommends getting in touch at least six weeks before you move to ensure your service is uninterrupted. BT requires at least two weeks notice. Sky and TalkTalk both require two to three weeks of notice or more. Worried about moving fees? Don’t be – for the most part, moving fees are £15 or less (many providers don’t charge any moving fees) unless you need a new line installed to your new property. You can view a full chart of notice periods and moving fees at Choose. Note that many providers will waive their moving fees if you sign onto a new contract or upgrade your broadband connection while moving.
Your current service might not be available at your new home
If you’re moving locally, you’ll probably be able to keep your existing broadband connection. If you’re moving to a remote area, however, there’s a chance that the package you currently use might not be available. This is particularly common if you have a high-speed connection – for example, a fibre connection – that’s limited to certain areas of the country. Some rural areas don’t have the same level of broadband connectivity as major cities and towns. To make sure you don’t face any surprises after moving into your new home, call your broadband provider as early as possible. Tell them where you’re moving to, what your current service is and if it’s available in your new neighbourhood. If you’re moving to a new home, you might need to pay for a line to be installed to the property. Having a new line installed can take some time – BT needs 15 days – so it’s important to alert your current ISP as early as possible. Are you worried your existing connection won’t be available at your new home? If you rely on high-speed Internet and need a stable connection, use the uSwitch ISP postcode checker to see what’s available in your new postcode.
Calling your current broadband provider to make the switch
If you’re happy with your broadband service and don’t want to switch providers, it’s easy to notify your current provider before you move. Call as early as you can (three weeks in advance, at least) and have the following information on hand:
- Your account number
- Your phone number (if you use the same company for phone and broadband)
- Your new address and postcode
- The date you’re moving
- Your MAC code
Your MAC code is a unique identifier that provides information about your Internet connection to your ISP. It’s a 17-18 digit code that’s unique for each connection – it’s used by your ISP to identify your connection within their network. You can request your MAC code by calling your ISP. They’ll need your MAC code to move your connection to your new address, so make sure you have it ready before calling them to inform them that you’re moving. More information about MAC codes, their formatting, and the contact number of the UK’s largest ISPs can be found on uSwitch’s guide to MAC addresses.
What if you’re just moving house locally?
If you’re moving locally, the process of changing your broadband connection to your new address becomes far easier. Your connection might even run through the same exchange as before, simplifying the process immensely for your ISP. If you use the same company for your home phone and broadband, you might even be able to keep your current phone number. Read our guide to your phone number and moving house to learn more about if you can keep your home phone number. When you move locally, the risk of your existing service being unavailable is almost nil. If your new postcode is the same as your existing one, you’ll almost definitely be able to keep your existing broadband package without having to make any changes.
Are you ready to move house?
Moving house is stressful, but the more prepared you are – from booking a moving company to organising your phone and Internet service – the easier and quicker the process becomes. If you’re moving house within the next few months, start preparing your moving day checklist now. From broadband to utilities, preparing several weeks in advance is a great way to make moving day a smoother, simpler experience.