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Broadband and moving home

All you need to know about keeping and switching broadband when you’re moving home

Moving house is both exciting and stressful in equal measure. During such a busy time, you probably have a million and one things on your checklist to consider.

From the endless slog of packing up all your belongings, to updating your details, moving your broadband over to your new address is probably quite high up on your list of priorities. We’ve put together this guide to make the move as smooth as possible.

Do I need to change provider?

If you’re happy with your broadband provider, the last thing you want is to have to leave them behind. Thankfully, moving to a new house doesn’t always mean switching providers. This all depends on where you’re moving to and which providers are available in your area.

Networks in your area

Broadband services vary from region to region depending on where each supplier is mapped. You’ll usually find the cheapest deals within your provider’s network area. While you may still be able to use your supplier outside of their area, you could be asked to pay more and the service may not be as good. In which case, it makes more sense to switch to a speedier, more local service.

Fortunately, you can still ensure you’re getting the best deal available with our postcode checker tool. Simply pop your new postcode in to see which providers operate in the area.

Virgin Media cable areas

Virgin Media is well known for its ultra-fast connection, this is down to their clever repurposing of television cables for internet use. Virgin Media’s cable network only operates in certain areas since they operate independently from other networks. Virgin cables can be tricky to navigate, find out if you’re moving into or out of a Virgin Media area using our postcode checker tool.

For Virgin customers moving outside of a Virgin Media cable network, you can still stay with them by moving to their Virgin.net service. However, you might have to settle for a slower broadband speed since Virgin.net is telephone based.

Relocating with your provider

Your provider wants you to take them with you, which is why most will try to make the moving process as simple as possible. Here’s what moving with some of the most popular suppliers looks like:

TalkTalk

If you’re a TalkTalk customer, you’re in luck. Not only is it free to change addresses if you use the same plan, but their website has a Moving Home portal for a swift and easy move. 

If you’re moving from a fibre-optic area to an area that doesn’t yet have it, you’ll still need to sign a new contract to downgrade. 
It’s also worth noting that if you have Talk2Go or TV2Go apps, you will have to re-register these.

Virgin Media

If you’re with Virgin Media, you just need to speak to their customer service team and let them know you’re going to be moving to find out if your new home is within their coverage area. You can even take your router with you when you leave, as they encourage reusing your old equipment. While Virgin broadband installation is free, they do charge an admin fee for changing your details. 

When you move, you’ll need to sign a new contract, however if you’re not at the end of your existing contract there’s no need to worry, as they waive the cancellation fee. However, if you’re moving out of a Virgin Media network area and you’ve not yet finished your existing contract then you’ll need to pay a cancellation fee if a new contract can’t be negotiated.

Plusnet

When moving with Plusnet, it actually works out cheaper to take out a new contract at your new address. There’s no cancellation fee for setting up a new contract, but you’ll have to pay to move your existing one.

Installation is free, unless you need a phone line in the property. If you’re moving into a fibre-optic cable area and want to upgrade, they even give you your router for free.

When should I move my broadband?

It can be tricky knowing when to move your broadband over to your new property. If you do it too late, you could end up offline for a few weeks in your new place and nobody wants that.

The optimum time to make the switch varies from provider to provider, take a look at some of the top supplier’s recommendations:

TalkTalk – TalkTalk are pretty flexible, you can book your move up to 3 months in advance. But don’t leave it any later than 2 weeks before you’re due to move in to avoid any delays in getting online.

Virgin Media – You should get in touch with Virgin 6 weeks before you move in. If your new home already has a Virgin Media connection, you can get online in the click of a button. However, if you don’t have a connection installed it can take up to 2 hours.

Plusnet – Plusnet recommend that you get in touch with them 2-3 weeks before your moving date to allow for any engineer callouts. They can usually get you up and running in time for your first night in your new home, so you won’t have to miss out on any precious Netflix time.

Will there be any additional cost?

Moving home isn’t cheap, so the last thing you want is to have to pay to get out of a contract. Since they’ll want you to stay with them, providers are unlikely to charge you to change the address on your account. However, there may be charges of up to £130 for line installation if your new property doesn’t have a phone line.

The story changes slightly if you’re thinking of cancelling to join a new provider, it may actually be more cost-effective to wait until your contract is up. Most contracts tend to be either 12 or 18 months, if you break your contract you may have to fork out on a hefty early cancellation fee.

Can I keep my phone number?

Having yet another important number to memorise is probably not what you need right now. Luckily, if you’re only going to be moving within the same area, your broadband provider may well let you keep your old phone number – unless you’re with Sky as they don’t offer this service.

However, if you’re moving further afield where there’s a different telephone exchange you’re unlikely to be quite so fortuitous. Different parts of the country need to include their area code in phone numbers. So, if you’re moving cities or towns, you’ll have to make a bit of extra brain space for that new phone number.

Should I upgrade my broadband package?

Moving out of a standard broadband home into a fibre-optic cable area? You’re in luck, your provider will likely want to upgrade you. If you’re a large household of avid internet users, making the switch to fibre-optic could be a wise decision. Use the move as an opportunity to work out how to get the most out of your broadband supplier and the packages that are available in your area.

If you’ve moved out of your provider’s network area, you might find that your old package isn’t going the distance anymore due to a slower connection. If you still decide to stay with them, you may be able to renegotiate. Try downgrading if your connection isn’t as good as it was before and you want to pay a more fitting rate.

What do I do if there are problems getting online?

It can be a nightmare being offline when you need to sort things out for your new home. Occasionally there will be a crossover period where you’re left without internet. Fortunately, there are options to get you back up and running when you need it most:

 

Mobile Broadband


If you’re desperate to get online for work or general life admin, mobile broadband can be a lifesaver. Just purchase a dongle for your laptop and use mobile phone signals to access the web. 

Best of all, you’re not tied down to a contract as you can get Pay As You Go mobile broadband deals. The only downside is that it can get expensive if you’re planning on doing a lot of downloading or uploading – so it’s best to use this to stay on top of emails during any crossover period.