Broadband and moving house
By Dan Howdle | Friday, January 22nd 2021
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.
This page will take you through all of 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 internet provision, 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.
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.
- Check the status of your current broadband contract. Is it operating on a rolling, month-to-month basis, or are you part-way through a fixed deal? If you need to leave your contract early, it’s likely that you’ll be charged an exit fee by your provider.
- If you’re tied into a contract, it’s worth checking whether your monthly price for broadband has ever been raised over the rate of inflation over its duration. If so, you’re free to leave without a penalty.
- If you’re mid-way through a deal but happy with your current provider and package, ask if you can move this to your new home without changing any of the details. Whether this is possible will depend on the type and speed of broadband you’re currently receiving, and whether this is available at your new postcode.
- If you’re thinking about moving to a new provider, check what’s on offer from whom in the area you’re moving to. Our postcode checker can help you find the best deals available at your new address.
- If you’re moving your existing deal, it’s worth asking if your provider can add in services like TV, landline phone calls, and even mobile provision to form a bundle, allowing you to simplify your service provision and pay one monthly bill. You could also look into a new deal which combines these services if you’re switching to another provider.
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.
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 for this.
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, hotspot or 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 the brand 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 of £130 - so check in advance if possible.
As with all providers, give as much notice as you can when moving your existing broadband deal. The ISP 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. The brand 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 downgrading to a slower service.
Sky has a range of broadband activation fees for customers moving home. Current charges are:
- £20 for Sky Broadband Essential
- £50 for Sky Broadband Superfast
- £100 for Sky Broadband Ultrafast
If you’re also a Sky TV customer, you may also need an engineer to visit your home and set up your service. Sky TV+ customers might be able to self install if their new property has all the necessary equipment in place. Sky Q customers, however, always need an engineer visit, which currently costs £35 on a weekday and £50 on a weekend.
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 the ISP isn’t available in all parts of the UK, so you may not be able to move your existing deal with the brand to a new property in a different area.
If the service is available at your new address, you’ll need to provide them 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 the provider installed in the past, you’ll pay a one-off £20 fee to move your existing broadband, as you’ll be able to use a QuickStart self-installation pack. If not, you may need an engineer to visit, which may incur further charges.
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 the brand by phone, selecting the option to speak with someone about EE home broadband.
Moving house with TalkTalk broadband
TalkTalk 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 have 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 postcode and a moving date to hand.
Moving house with Vodafone broadband
Vodafone 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 the brand will take care of everything.
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. 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.
When you inform your current provider of your decision to switch to a new company, it’s likely that you’ll be directed to their retention team - whose job it is to keep hold of you as a customer. It’s possible that they’ll tempt you to stay with a better deal, but if you’re confident in your decision to switch, politely but firmly insist that you’re leaving and they’ll have no choice but to assist with the move.
You’ll need to make a request to keep hold of your existing landline number, if this is what you want to do. It’s pretty standard practice when people move house, and providers won’t be surprised by you asking.
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, a tiny modem with the ability to connect to wireless or 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, contact your provider with as much notice to check it’s available in your new area and ask to move your deal.
If not, use our postcode checker to find out what’s available in the area you’re moving to, and start looking for a better deal as far in advance as you can. 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, before switching to a new deal when you’re free to do so.