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Broadband and moving house

Nick Baker, Broadband and TV expert
Written by Nick Baker, Broadband, TV, gaming and mobiles expert

31 March 2022

Moving house is a stressful and exciting time. Amidst all the chaos, though, it's important to think about what you're going to do with your internet connection and include it on your moving house checklist.
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couple setting up their broadband in their new home

When moving home you’ll probably have a long list of things to do — there are boxes to pack, moving vans to hire and a load of bills and paperwork that you need to get organised before moving day.

While sorting your broadband and moving house at the same time might seem stressful, in most cases it’s actually fairly straightforward.

This guide will help you decide whether to transfer your existing broadband package to your new property or change to something new so you can easily tick it off your checklist.

Moving house - broadband and other bills

When moving house, broadband isn't always the first thing you put on your to-do list, but organising all the services, bills and subscriptions you'll need is something that's better sorted sooner rather than later.

Our research revealed that the one million Britons who moved home in 2020 waited an average of eight days for their broadband to be connected. Additionally, one in three were forced to use up all their mobile data allowance while they waited to be connected.

1 in 3 movers used up all their mobile data according to Uswitch research

There are a few things you should find out about your broadband contract when you’re moving home:

  • Are you under contract with your current provider? Is the fixed-term ending soon?

  • Has your provider raised prices above the rate of inflation while you're in contract with them? If so, you could be free to leave without penalty.

  • Are you happy with your current package and broadband provider?

  • Does your current provider operate in the area you are moving to?

  • If so, does your current provider service the specific property you're moving to? (this is especially important when moving into a flat)

  • If your current provider doesn't have coverage in the area you're moving to, which providers do?

  • Can your current provider bundle products like TV, landline and broadband together into one seamless monthly payment?

If you think any of these issues need addressing, use the Uswitch broadband postcode checker to see which broadband packages are on offer in your new area. This will also tell you whether your current broadband provider operates in the area you are moving to.

Broadband in my area

Keeping your broadband provider when moving home

Most broadband providers will allow you to take your broadband service with you when you move, as long as they have coverage in that area too — although a small charge may apply.

Some providers might also require you to start a new contract with them, which would mean committing to another 12, 18, or 24 months with that specific broadband provider once you move to your new address.

This isn't always a bad thing, because securing a low monthly rate from your provider is ideal. However, if they're unable to secure you a good price, or indicate that there will be price jumps, it would definitely be worth looking at other broadband deals for your new home.

Can you transfer internet from house to house?

It may not always make sense to change. It might be worth staying with your current provider and simply transferring your broadband if:

  • They have coverage in your area

  • You are happy with your broadband package

  • You are still under contract with them and don't want to pay any termination or cancellation costs

Can I cancel my broadband when moving house?

This is where it gets a little more complicated. When moving house, you might want to switch to a new broadband provider if your current service isn’t available in the area you’re moving to.

In order to change, you should first compare broadband deals to find out what services and deals are available in the area you're moving to. And then by following the steps with your new provider, you can notify your old one that you're moving house and switching from them.

You can also compare cheap broadband deals in particular if you're looking for a low-cost internet service.

But unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.

If you're still within your initial contract period, you would have to pay an early termination fee to cancel — even if you aren’t able to continue that service in your new address.

The amount you would need to pay in order to cancel varies depending on your provider, the length of time remaining in your contract, and the services you are subscribed to.

If you're out of contract with your provider when you plan to move home, it’s likely to be much cheaper to switch to a new broadband service than to pay the transfer charges to stay with your current broadband provider.

In addition, broadband prices are almost always cheaper for new customers than existing customers, so switching broadband when moving home could be the way to go.

One exception to the above is if you're a Virgin Media customer. If you're in the middle of a Virgin Media broadband contract and you're moving to a property that isn't on its network, the provider will no longer charge you an early disconnection fee.

Broadband in my area

How to move Wi-Fi to a new house

If your current provider is available in your new property, then they will do most of the work for you (although often for a fee).

Most providers will have dedicated teams to make it easy for you to transfer your broadband to your new home. You will need to contact customer services in advance to arrange the transfer — just be aware that some providers require 30 days notice while others require two weeks.

Planning ahead will help minimise waiting times at your new property and allow you to get your internet connection up and running as quickly as possible. Different providers will have different processes to get you connected when you move, and they range in how long they take to complete. But if you're as prepared as you can be beforehand, then you needn't wait any longer than you need to.

How quickly can I get broadband installed?

According to our recent research, nearly all of the major broadband providers had customers waiting at least a week to be connected. Plusnet took the longest time, at almost ten days, while Virgin Media customers had to wait just under seven.

Updated 27 April 2022
ProviderAverage days without a connection
Plusnet9.9
TalkTalk9.4
BT8.6
EE8.1
Sky Broadband7.7
Vodafone7.3
Virgin Media6.6

BT broadband moving house

BT’s moving home service takes care of most of the hassle for you. All you need to do is fill in your home phone number and account number, along with your new address, postcode and move-in date, and BT will do the rest (provided it can service your new property).

Since BT is so widely available across the UK (96% superfast fibre coverage), it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have any trouble accessing its services from your new home.

Keep in mind, however, that there may be charges if there is no BT master socket in your new property or you need a new line installed. This can end up costing as much as £130.

BT recommends giving at least two weeks' notice before your move in order to avoid any loss of service.

Sky moving home broadband process

For customers of Sky Broadband, moving home is also a simple matter of confirming your new address and moving date with Sky at least two weeks in advance, since it uses the same Openreach broadband networks as BT.

Depending on the network coverage at your new address, you may be able to upgrade your broadband during your Sky home move, or you may have to downgrade to a slower service.

In either case, you may incur an activation fee to set up your Sky Broadband at your new address. Find out more and arrange your move with the Sky moving home hub.

Sky TV moving home

If you’re also a Sky TV customer there could be some added complications, as you will likely need to arrange an engineer visit to install and set up a satellite for your Sky TV.

Certain Sky customers may be able to self-install if all the necessary equipment is already in place in your new home. However, if you’re a Sky Q TV customer, an engineer visit is always required.

The cost of a Sky TV engineer visit is currently:

  • £50 on a weekday

  • £65 on a weekend

Moving house with Virgin Media

Unlike BT and Sky, Virgin Media runs on its own cable network. It's less widely available than some other providers, at 52% national coverage compared to 96% of the country that can access Openreach's slower superfast fibre network.

Compare broadband in my area

If you are able to transfer your existing broadband account to your new address you’ll need to contact Virgin Media directly and provide the following details:

  • Your account number (found on your bill)

  • Your current and new address

  • Your contact number

  • Your moving date

  • Your preferred installation date

If the new property has already had Virgin Media installed previously, you can use a QuickStart self-install pack to avoid engineer charges.

And if you're moving to a property that doesn't have access to its network, you won't have to worry about paying early exit fees too. As long as Virgin knows you're moving house, it will let you cancel your contract with them fee-free.

EE broadband moving home

To move your broadband with EE, you can select the option ‘moving home’ within your My EE account. If this option isn’t currently available on your account page you can contact EE on 0800 079 8586 and select option three for EE Home Broadband.

TalkTalk moving home

TalkTalk requires a minimum of 14 days notice in order to transfer your broadband service to your new home, and can work towards a moving date that’s a maximum of three months away.

TalkTalk charges £60 to transfer your broadband to a new address, and all you need to do is start a chat within the My Account section of the TalkTalk website and provide them with your new address and your moving date.

Vodafone broadband moving house

To take your Vodafone broadband with you change address, you’ll need to give them at least 30 days' notice.

You’ll need your Vodafone account number or landline number, then you just need to call 191 free from your Vodafone mobile or 0333 304 0191 from any other phone to arrange the transfer.

How to set up broadband in your new home

You can still use Uswitch to compare broadband deals when moving to a new home, even though you’re not technically switching.

Getting a new broadband deal is actually much easier than switching, as there’s no need to worry about current contracts, termination fees or changing equipment.

How long does it take to set up internet in a new home?

It usually takes around two weeks to set up internet access in a new house. If there’s a working broadband line already installed in the property, getting internet access could be as simple as plugging in your new router when you arrive.

If you do need a new line installed, however – either for a new provider or new service such as fibre or cable broadband – an engineer visit can take up to two weeks to arrange.

Broadband in my area

How to get internet in a new build

The process to get internet access in a new build is much the same as with other properties.

However, in some new-build flats and neighbourhoods there are what's known as 'micro-monopolies' in place. This is where broadband services for the entire building or street are exclusively provided by one provider.

While this does limit your choice, these are often high-end broadband services which will give you access to ultrafast or even full fibre broadband.

For example, Hyperoptic is often an exclusive broadband provider for new-build flats in urban areas. Hyperoptic full fibre broadband speeds can reach up to 1Gbps, which is over 15x the national average broadband speed of 64Mbps.

Hopefully, switching broadband when you move will be quick and simple, leaving you plenty of time to stress about all the other things you need to get done before moving day. Good luck.

Broadband in my area