Managing communications in your new home

Moving house is stressful enough without the added hassle of setting up broadband at your new address. So how can you get online with minimum cost, delay and disruption? Read on for all you need to know about broadband and moving house.

Dig out your contract

Dig out your broadband contract at least a month before your move date. If you’ve passed the minimum period with your current provider, you’re in the prime position of being able to either stick with them when you move, or switch to a different service. If you’re mid contract, you’ll be tied to the provider for the remainder of the deal and may face charges when you move.

Compare coverage

Check broadband availability and average speed at your new address using an Ofcom accredited comparison tool. This step is increasingly important for house hunters, with many checking local broadband services just like school catchment areas and crime rates before they commit to moving. The coverage checker results will tell you whether you can remain with your current provider or will have to switch, and if so, what your options are.

Check broadband speed in your area now with Rightmove’s NEW broadband search.

Update your provider

If your existing service is still available with a reasonable speed and you’re happy with the service, simply call up to notify of your move date (see recommended notice periods below) and the provider will arrange everything else.

Broadband firms are always keen to move with you if possible, so home move services are usually free of charge. The exception to this is if a new phone line needs to be installed, or you switch or move again within 12 months, when an extra charge may be added to your bill.

Check new contract terms

If you’re keen to keep your phone number, tell the provider when you book your broadband move. Unfortunately, it’s simply not an option with some firms, while others may allow it if you’re moving within the same area code. Be sure to check whether your existing contract will continue at the new address or you’ll have to start a new one, as this will affect your ability to switch at a later date.

Cancel and switch

If your existing provider isn’t available at your new property or you’re using the move as an opportunity to switch, simply cancel your current deal and start a new contract at your new home. Compare set-up fees as well as monthly cost when shopping around, and look out for services with free installation.

Give both providers as much notice as possible to ensure a swift set-up at your new address and avoid paying for longer than necessary at your old one. Providing you’ve passed the initial contract term, you’ll be able to leave without charge. Standard cancellation terms are 30 days but set-up times vary between providers.

Potential problems

Things get tricky if you’re mid way through a 12 or 18 month contract and the provider doesn’t have coverage at your new address. You will be forced to cancel and break the contract, and are likely to face an early termination charge. The size of this penalty varies between providers and usually depends on how many services you have (broadband, TV or phone, for example) and how long is left on your contract. The charge may be a one-off lump sum, or monthly fee until the end of your deal.

Notice periods and moving fees

Check the table below for the notice periods required by the main providers to move broadband between properties with minimum disruption, plus the charges that may apply.

This article was written by Hannah Ricci of, the Ofcom accredited broadband, TV and phone comparison site.

Visit to find the right broadband for your new home.

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