Gas, electricity, water ... and now broadband. Internet connectivity is high up on the priority list for many of us when moving home, so vital to modern life it’s considered to be another utility. But while we’re used to the procedure for transferring the likes of a gas supplier, the steps for handling your broadband service when moving into a new place may be less familiar. Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to do to ensure this goes as smoothly as everything else.
Checking broadband speeds at your new home
First step: find out what services are available at the new property. You may discover your current broadband is not an option, or there’s an opportunity to upgrade to a faster connection.
An easy way to do this is visit SamKnows.com. Use their exchange search tool and it will tell you what kind of broadband services are enabled at the exchange closest to your new home.
Almost all exchanges throughout the UK have at least ADSL (giving up to 8Mb or 16Mb), with fibre optic (up to 76Mb) and cable broadband (up to 152Mb) increasingly common. There are a few exchanges remaining where not even ADSL is available but this is limited to rural areas so most of the population have a variety of options.
The actual speed you’ll get will be dependent on factors such as line quality and distance from the exchange. Generally, fibre and cable broadband provide a speed that’s very close to the quoted rates but ADSL can vary wildly. You can get a rough estimate using the line check tools found on ISP web sites, for a more accurate reading you’ll need to supply a telephone number.
One issue that’s often encountered is that the new home does not offer the same broadband service as your current property. This is most problematic with fibre and cable broadband, the latter in particular has a far more limited reach than other broadband services. In that situation your provider will usually still be able to give some kind of connection, however you may find that you’re downgraded to a slower service while still paying the same price.
- Transferring broadband to a new property
Most of the time it will be possible to keep your existing provider at the new property. In order to do this without any major delays you’ll need to advise your ISP of the move ahead of time, though how far in advance they’ll need to be notified can vary so check this first.
If you have broadband and phone from the same company you should only need to give them your moving date and property details, then sit back as they handle the transfer. Aside from checking progress and confirming the move date closer to the time there should not be much else to do.
Dealing with separate phone and broadband companies is slightly more complicated. First contact the telephone provider and request a LORN (Link Order Reference Number, sometimes called a Simultaneous Provider Number). Give this to your broadband company and they’ll liaise with the phone service to ensure a smooth same-day transfer.
If the broadband provider does not get a LORN you could be waiting weeks for them to activate the service, so this is an important step. Also, you must confirm with the current occupier of the new property that they have correctly cancelled or transferred their phone and broadband service. If not the line will be blocked, adding further delays to the process.
- Cancel and sign up for a new service
You might want to take moving home as an opportunity to knock the current provider on the head and switch to a new service. You can use a comparison site like Broadband Genie to find more information on the best deals in your area. That’s definitely an option, but be aware that you’ll almost certainly end up paying a fee for any time remaining on a contract. Moving house is not an excuse for cancelling without charge and this applies even if you move to an area where your existing service is not available. If you’ve currently got cable broadband but the new exchange can only provide ADSL, the network will most likely offer you an ADSL connection at the same price.
If you do move to another provider make sure you give plenty of time to have it enabled, and as above you should ensure that the current occupier has properly cancelled any existing services to prevent the line from being blocked.
Source: Rob Hilborn at Broadband Genie