Moving home with BT broadband
By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Tuesday, May 30th 2023
There are so many things to think about when you're moving home – it can be a really stressful time. When it comes to broadband, you want it to be working in your old home up until the day you leave, and you want it to be ready and waiting for you when you arrive at your new place. And you don't want it to be too much of a fuss to sort out.
In this guide we'll take you through what to do if you're moving home and are a BT broadband customer. The number of options open to you depends on where you're moving to and whether you're still in the minimum contract period, but the moving process should be pretty straightforward, whatever the case.
Keeping your current BT broadband package
If you're moving home and happy to stick with the BT broadband package you have at the moment – or you are in your minimum contract period and can't get out without paying a hefty cancellation charge – the process really is quite straightforward.
BT has a dedicated moving home service that will take care of everything – all you need to do is fill in your phone number, BT account number, your new address and your moving date in your BT account. BT will do the rest. It's recommended you give BT at least two weeks' notice before your moving day, but you can tell BT about the move up to 90 days in advance if you so wish.
Your bill details will remain the same, there's no need to set up a new Direct Debit and there'll be no charge for your new connection, unless BT needs to install a new phone line in which case a fee of £70 may apply. If you are starting a new contract with BT, there are no connection fees. If you stick with your current plan, you won't be entering into a new minimum term contract when you move, you'll simply carry on where you left off.
It's highly unlikely that BT won't be available at your new place since the Openreach network it uses covers the vast majority of UK postcodes. In the unlikely event that BT broadband isn't available at your new address, BT will waive any cancellation fees that may apply since it cannot provide the service to which you signed up.
Upgrading your BT broadband deal
You may feel that as you're moving home, it's also the perfect time to upgrade your BT broadband package. Customers on a regular fibre speed can choose to upgrade to an ultrafast, full fibre speed of up to 900Mbps. To do this, you will need to have the Openreach full fibre network available at your new address to find out you can ask BT directly or just run a postcode check using our availability checker.
You may also want to add BT TV to your broadband deal, take advantage of all the European football on BT Sport or simply add some extras to your package, such as Complete WiFi, to improve the signal around your home.
Just be aware that if you make any changes to your existing BT package, your contract will restart, and you will be committed to a further 24 months with BT. To tell BT you are moving house, simply log in to your BT account online and fill out the details of your new address, and the date you are moving. You can also choose to order any upgrades within your online account.
If you want to downgrade your package when you move, you will only be able to do this if you are out of contract, and it will kickstart a new 24-month contract term. To arrange any kind of downgrade (such as choosing a slower speed or cancelling your TV package, for example) you will need to call BT instead. You can call the moving team on 0800 783 0235 between 8am and 9pm Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and from 9am to 6pm on Sundays.
Most of the introductory offers you find on comparison sites aren't available to existing BT customers, but there may well be other offers and loyalty discounts available if you call up.
Moving home and leaving BT
Let's take a look at a couple of scenarios in which you may end up leaving BT as you move home.
You've seen a better offer elsewhere
If you're outside of your minimum contract period, there's nothing to stop you looking around at what deals other providers have to offer. In fact, we'd positively encourage you to do so. Something to bear in mind if you're eyeing up a new broadband deal is to check to see whether it's available at your new address.
Virgin Media is available to about 60% of UK households so there's roughly a one in three chance you won't be able to get it. All the other major broadband providers including Sky, TalkTalk and Plusnet use the same Openreach network as BT so if you can get BT at your new address, you should also be able to get any one of these providers.
BT isn't available at your new address
It is highly unlikely that BT broadband won't be available at your new address – some 98.5% of UK homes can get a fixed broadband service with the majority of those being served by the Openreach network used by BT. But there are a couple of exceptions.
- New-builds – Some new-build housing estates are not covered by Openreach and instead are serviced exclusively by another provider using its own network infrastructure, such as Virgin Media, Hyperoptic or Gigaclear. The upside is that all three of these offer tremendous speeds and it doesn't mean that Openreach won't be coming to the area at some point in the future
- Hull – If you're moving to Hull, there is no way you'll be able to stay with BT. You won't be going to Virgin, Sky or TalkTalk either. KCOM is the only fixed broadband provider in the city
Frequently asked questions
How can I tell if there's a BT line in my new home?
There's a couple of ways to find out. When you're looking around the house you can ask the current owner or the estate agent, otherwise keep an eye out for a white phone socket with either the BT or the Openreach logo on it. You can also start placing an order with BT online and they'll run a line check as part of the process and also tell you whether full fibre is available at your new address yet.
Can I take my old phone number to my new address?
If you're moving to another property within the same telephone exchange area (so would have the same area code) then you'll probably be able to keep the same number. If you're moving to a new area, the chances are you'll be given a new number.
Will I be eligible for special offers from BT when I move home?
Most introductory offers are only available to new customers, not those already with BT. Some offers are available to existing BT customers upgrading their service to include BT TV or BT Complete WiFi, for example.
I'm moving home soon and haven't notified BT, what do I do?
BT asks for at least two weeks' notice when you're moving home but if you can't do this because you have to move suddenly, there's no need to panic. Call them up and explain the situation. They'll get your service moved over as soon as they can.
I'm moving into rented accommodation, is that going to be a problem?
It shouldn't be. You may find there's already a BT line installed in which case you'll just need to get it activated. If you need a new line put in you should contact your landlord, as it's probably going to involve a hole being drilled in the wall. This also applies to anyone wanting ultrafast broadband from BT or Virgin Media.