Dan Howdle | April 8th, 2024

Broadband and moving house: What to expect

Moving house can be stressful, but moving your existing broadband deal or signing up with a new provider for your new property doesn’t have to be.

Broadband and moving house

This page will take you through all the steps involved with getting broadband in a new house – everything from securing a great new deal to getting online without a connection if you experience hold-ups or problems with your new internet provider.

Happily, with a little forward planning, most people won’t experience a significant gap in their broadband service, if any.

Check availability before you move

Whether you plan to move your existing broadband deal to your new home, or sign up for a brand new one with a different provider, you’ll need to check what’s available within your new postcode.

Our broadband area checker is quick and easy to use, and will help you find out whether you’ll be forced to make a switch between providers, or whether moving your existing deal will be possible.

Check your new address

What to consider before you move

If you’re planning on moving house, making sure you’ve got the internet set up may be just one of a long list of tasks on your to do list. We’ve listed the most important things to consider when it comes to getting online and a home move, to help you plan for a smooth transition.

If you’re tied into your current broadband contract and don’t want to pay the early exit fee, sign up for our switching reminder service and we’ll email you shortly before your current deal comes to an end. This will give you time to shop around for new home broadband deals.

If you’re confused about what your current broadband contract involves, you can also check out our guide to understanding broadband contracts for guidance.

Keeping your existing provider

If you’re happy with your current broadband deal and want to move it to your new home, you’ll need to give your provider as much notice as possible. Some providers require 30 days’ notice, while others are happy with two weeks.

As long as your current internet provision is available at your new postcode, it should be a simple process for your provider to activate a new line and deactivate your old one. If you’re moving to a property without an existing landline connection, your provider may need to send an engineer to install one of these before you can get up and running. Thankfully, this is pretty rare these days.

You'll also need to consider the type of broadband available at your new location because it may not match what you already have. For example, if you have Virgin Media of a Full Fibre package from one of the other providers there's a very good chance that infrastructure won't exist in the place you're moving to.

Most providers charge a fee for moving an existing broadband deal to a new property. These are usually pretty affordable, though if you do need to install a new landline to your new house, there may be an additional charge.

With at least a few weeks’ warning, your provider should be able to activate your new connection very close to, or even on the day you move into your new home.

Life sometimes gets in the way, however, so it’s best to have a backup connection ready – like mobile broadband, a hotspot or a tethered smartphone – to get temporary internet access until your new connection is sorted.

Moving your existing broadband to your new home

The process for transferring an existing home broadband deal to a new property is different for every provider. Here’s how some of the most popular broadband companies do it:

Moving house with BT broadband

BT has a dedicated home moving service that takes the stress out of getting set up in a new property. Simply provide your new address and move-in date, and BT will take care of the rest.

As BT’s standard and fibre broadband is already available in most parts of the UK, it would be unusual to move into a new home where the service couldn’t be set up. In the unlikely event that you move into a property that doesn’t already have a BT master socket, and you need to have a new phone line installed, you’ll be charged a fairly hefty installation fee, so check in advance if possible.

As with all providers, give as much notice as you can when moving your existing broadband deal. BT asks for two weeks as a minimum, in order to lessen the chances of spending any time without an internet connection.

Moving house with Sky broadband

As Sky broadband runs on the same Openreach network as BT, Sky customers can also expect a simple and painless switching process when they move a deal to a new home. Sky uses the same process as BT, asking customers to provide their new address and moving date with at least two weeks’ notice.

Depending on what’s available at your new postcode, moving house might provide an opportunity to upgrade your package to a faster or more reliable service. For some customers, however, it might mean having to downgrade to a slower service.

If you’re also a Sky TV customer and wish to continue with Sky Q rather than switching to internet-only Sky Stream, you may also need an engineer to visit your home and set up your service.

Moving house with Virgin Media

Virgin Media operates on its own cable broadband network rather than using the Openreach network shared by most other broadband providers. This means that Virgin isn’t available in all parts of the UK, so you may not be able to move your existing Virgin deal to a new property in a different area.

If the service is available at your new address, you’ll need to provide Virgin with your account number, current and new addresses, phone number, moving date and a preferred installation date. It’s worth noting that Virgin Media needs at least a full month’s notice, so let them know as far in advance as you can to avoid annoying delays in broadband service.

If your new home has had Virgin Media installed in the past, you’ll pay a one-off £20 fee to move your existing broadband, and then a £35 set-up fee.

Moving house with EE broadband

To order your home broadband transfer before you move to a new property, simply log in to your ‘My EE’ account online, select the ‘Moving Home’ option, and follow the instructions. If this option isn’t available on your account page, you’ll need to contact EE by phone, selecting the option to speak with someone about EE home broadband. There are no charges to move home with EE broadband, unless you are changing to a more expensive package.

Moving house with TalkTalk broadband

TalkTalk broadband requires a minimum of 14 days’ notice if you want to move your existing broadband deal to a new home. If you’re a forward planner, you can give them a moving date that’s up to a maximum of three months away.

TalkTalk has a one-off charge of £60 for transferring home broadband to a new address. Simply log in to your account via the brand’s website, visit the ‘My Account’ section, and start a chat. You’ll need to have your new address with your postcode and a moving date to hand.

Moving house with Vodafone broadband

Vodafone broadband needs a minimum of 30 days’ notice when you move your broadband deal to a new home – anything less and you risk lengthy delays to your switch.

All you have to do is call 191 from your Vodafone mobile, or 0333 304 0191 from any other mobile or landline and Vodafone will take care of everything. Vodafone does not levy any charges for home moves.

Switching to your new provider

If you’re moving house and considering switching to a new broadband provider, the process should also be relatively simple.

Simply choose a new deal that suits your needs and your new provider should get in touch with your old one to make arrangements for the switch.The exception to this is if you’re moving to or from Virgin Media, in which case you will have to arrange the cancellation yourself. If you’re not sure what broadband packages are available in your area, our postcode checker can help.

If you’ve reached the end of your contract with the old provider, and are up to date with all of your bill payments, you’re free to make the switch and there’s nothing to pay. If you’re part-way through a contract, however, you’ll probably have to pay an early-exit fee to get out of your contract before it’s due to end.

You’ll need to make a request if you want to keep hold of your existing landline number. It’s pretty standard practice when people move house, and providers won’t be surprised by you asking. Be aware however that if you are moving out of the area, it is unlikely you will be able to keep your number anyway.

Installing broadband in a new build property

Switching your broadband service to a new build house should be as simple as with other properties.

In reality, some new build flats and housing estates have micro-monopolies in place, where broadband for entire buildings and streets are exclusively provided by one ISP – meaning you’ll be restricted to one provider.

This is rare, and shouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern if you’re thinking of buying a new build property. For peace of mind, you can check out what type of broadband is currently available in any area by using our broadband postcode checker.

Get online without a connection

Even if you’ve informed your provider of a house move in plenty of time, there’s still an outside chance that you might be without an internet connection for a little while.

If you miss the mark slightly with syncing up your old provision with your new service, there are a number of ways you can get online while you wait for the situation to be rectified.

Most people can create a ‘hotspot’ on their phone, using their mobile data to access the internet. It’s worth checking with your mobile provider to find out how this might affect your data allowance before you use one.

You could also use a mobile dongle, or a mobile mini 4G/5G router (also known as a MiFi unit) to keep you online temporarily.

Compare mobile broadband

If all else fails, you may find yourself using the wifi signal at your local cafe until your home internet is up and running!

The key point to take away from this page is that if you’re happy with the speed and quality of your existing service, you should contact your provider as soon as you know you’re moving and check it’s available in your new area.

If it’s not, you can use our postcode checker to find out what’s available in the area you’re moving to, and start looking for a better deal. Make sure you talk to your existing provider about early exit fees if you need to come out of your contract early. Sometimes these are so expensive that it’s more sensible to ride out your contract and avoid them, especially if your existing provider does not charge for moving your service.