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Broadband and moving home

In a previous post, we discussed how to get the best possible WiFi signal in your home, but what if you’re moving home and your broadband hasn’t even been installed yet?

Moving home is both exciting and stressful. It involves a lot of research, planning and preparation and many long lists of things to arrange, details to change and organisations you need to notify. It would be easy to forget something like broadband so we asked Jamie Kavanagh at Broadband Genie to tell us how you can ensure that your broadband is connected the moment you get your keys.

Given how vital a broadband connection is to modern life, preparing it in advance and having everything ready can take a weight off your mind.

Before you move home

There is a lot of waiting around when you have chosen a new home. Waiting for surveys or paperwork, waiting for agents and contracts. What better time to arrange the broadband service in the new property? Everything can be arranged, engineers booked and another item ticked off on your endless to-do list while you’re waiting for other things.

Checking coverage in your new area

Once you have settled on a new home, enter your new postcode into an availability checker to see what’s available. Once you know what your options are, you can make an informed decision about whether you stay with your current provider or switch to a new broadband contract.

Moving with your current provider

You don’t have to change broadband provider when you move home. If you’re happy with the price, features and service, you can often take your current contract with you when you move. We always suggest checking the market when your current contract is up but switching providers is not always the cheapest option.

Switching provider

If your current provider doesn’t cover your new area or you found a better deal elsewhere, you may prefer to switch broadband provider. Before you make the switch, check your current contract to see if you’re within the fixed period or not.

The fixed period is the first 12, 18 or 24 month period of the contract. You can still switch provider but you may have to pay an early release fee. This is often a proportion of the monthly cost multiplied by the number of months left on the fixed term. If you have completed the fixed term and are on a rolling monthly contract, you can leave for free as long as you give your current provider enough notice.

If your current provider and your new one both use the BT Openreach telephone network (which accounts for the vast majority), you can switch your broadband exactly the same way you can switch energy providers. It’s a very straightforward system where the vendors handle everything on your behalf.

If you’re not using a BT Openreach reseller, switching or setting up a new broadband contract is still very easy, but you’ll have to be a little more involved as your providers won’t liase on the process.

When you’re ready to move

Once you have a move date, you can begin arranging broadband at the new address. Whether you’re moving with your current provider or switching, the provider will need adequate notice to make arrangements and get everything set up.

Informing your provider

You will need to notify your current provider to give notice or to ask them to arrange the move. You will usually need to give them between 7 and 30 days’ notice of a move or change. Check your contract for specifics.

As an example, BT require 15 days for a move while John Lewis requires just 7, Plusnet 21 days, TalkTalk 14 days and Virgin Media 14 days.

It is good practice to give the same notice for a move as with a cancellation. This gives your new broadband provider enough time to connect the property to the network and arrange an engineer if one is needed.

If you’re cancelling your contract, you will usually need to provide 28 or 30 days’ notice in writing, though some have a shorter notification period. Again, check your broadband contract or the provider’s website for specific details.

New phone line installs

Non-cable broadband installations require a telephone line to be installed at the property. If the property doesn’t have a telephone line, your provider will need to install one. If you’re buying your home, this can be arranged directly with you.

If you’re going to be renting, you will need permission (preferably in writing) from the landlord or agency. Once permission is granted, you can arrange the installation.

Setting up broadband in your new home

Once you have moved in and started unpacking, you’re going to want to set up your new broadband connection. There are some basic steps you will need to take to get everything up and running.

Plug in the modem or router provided by your ISP and connect it to the broadband connection if an engineer didn’t visit and do it for you. Power everything on and leave it a minute or two to get a connection. Once all the lights are green, you should be good to go.
If you have a Wi-Fi router, placement if key to getting a decent signal throughout the house. Try to place it as close to the centre of your home as possible and away from large electrical items and thick walls. Both of these interfere with the Wi-Fi signal.

If you have a large home or have thick walls, consider using a Wi-Fi signal booster in low signal areas. These are simple devices that plug into an outlet and joins your WiFi network. They boost the WiFi signal into those hard to reach areas.

Consider running cabling or using a powerline adapter (which uses electrical circuits to transmit data) once you know where everything is going to be in your new home. If you’re renting, be careful of making holes or removing carpet to lay cable. Powerline network adapters don’t need extra cabling, so are often the cheapest and easiest solution.