Broadband and moving home

Whether you’re thinking about moving home, or you’ve put in an offer or contacted a landlord for a viewing, broadband is as important a consideration as gas, electric, council tax, and local facilities.

Before you move home, you should understand how to take your broadband with you, or switch to another provider.

Preparation before you move

As with checking council tax prices and distance to work, one of the key things you should do when planning to move house is check what internet services are available in the area you’re moving to.

Most cities and suburbs have access to the Openreach network, which means fibre broadband, enabling faster internet connections. You have a choice of providers on this network, from BT to TalkTalk, Vodafone, and many others.

Some areas have Virgin Media cable broadband, which means even faster internet. However, there is no choice of provider here as Virgin does not share access to its network. 

And the city of Hull has its own fibre network, so if you’re moving there, you will find you have to change provider.

Once you’ve found out what internet services you can use where you plan to move to, contact your current provider. Speak to them to find out how much longer your contract has left to run. Also check cancellation charges, notice requirements, and the procedure for moving (or “porting”) the current package to the new property, as well as check if the same (or faster) speed is available. 

Will poor broadband speed impact whether you move house? If you or your family have specific internet needs, it certainly could.

Moving and staying with your provider

Staying with your current provider if often the simplest course of action. If this is a possibility, notify them of the details of the move. Taking into account the notice period, let them know about the date of the move, and the new address, informing them of any other relevant details. 

Note that leaving this late will result in delays to installation. However, don’t arrange anything until you have a move date from your landlord, or have exchanged contracts in a purchase. Installation is best timed for a couple of days after you move in.

If any engineering work is required (connecting the property to the network, for example) the provider will organize this. Any additional equipment required will be sent out – this might include a new broadband router, or TV box, for example.

Moving and switching providers

In many cases you’ll be forced to change providers. This will happen if there is no coverage at the new property from your current providers, or if you decide to end the contract (or it is expiring anyway).

If you’re forced to switch providers and the contract needs to be ended early, initiate an end of service request within the notice period. This should be arranged to occur as close as possible to the date you move home.

Once you’ve sorted that out, it’s time to find a new deal to sign up to. Use a postcode-based broadband comparison tool to see the best deals available for the new property, sign up, then arrange an installation date, to occur after you’ve moved in.

Getting online in your new house

You have a new house, freshly connected to the internet, but no access. That’s because the router needs setting up. Getting online is straightforward in most cases, but it helps if you can find a central location for the router. This way you ensure the signal spreads around the house uniformly. Placing high up on the wall is a good idea, but avoid placing it in a basement or attic if you want coverage for the full property.

Conversely, placing the router on an exterior wall or in a window will result in a portion of the signal being sent outside, and wasted. 

Despite the name, cabling can be an issue with wireless networks. Where the internet line comes into the property isn’t always ideal for a central position for the router. This is when things like Wi-Fi boosters and repeaters come in useful, devices designed to increase the range of the wireless network.

Alternatively, you could use Ethernet cables. However, these are often untidy without the right approach. If you don’t have time to install subducting and in-wall cabling isn’t an option, and rewiring the house isn’t necessary, consider powerline adapters. These rely on the property’s electrical wiring to transmit data between a pair (or more) of adapters.

Common issues

Complications can occur when moving home, even for your broadband internet. 

In the event of delays occurring, you should have a backup connection. This might be using mobile internet sharing on your smartphone, or a PAYG mobile internet router. While comparatively expensive, it will at least ensure you’re online. Note, however, that such a deal will be capped, with steep upgrades to the package often proving restrictive. 

While your fibre broadband internet might be fast when it’s installed, don’t expect the same speeds from your backup solution.