Under rules introduced in June 2015 consumers who switch broadband provider no longer require a MAC code. Instead, Ofcom's revamped code of practice transfers responsibility for managing a switch to the provider to whom the customer is switching.
For a more complete explanation of switching broadband in the wake of changes to Ofcom's regulations, head to our dedicated guide to switching broadband.
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MAC addresses and switching broadband
When you want to switch your broadband package or provider, you'll need to obtain a MAC address. This MAC code, completely unique to you, provides important information about your internet connection.
MAC is an acronym for Migration Authorisation Code. It's an individual 17- or 18-digit alphanumeric number. When you sign up with your new broadband provider, your MAC address will have essential information it needs to switch your broadband supply over (e.g. details of your phone exchange, type of line, etc).
How to use your MAC address to switch
Call your current broadband provider for your MAC code (see list below for numbers to call)
Sign up online with your chosen broadband provider and enter your MAC code when requested
What is the MAC format?
Each MAC code is an individual combination of letters and numbers. Here are some example MAC formats to show you what the code will look like:
Where are MAC codes available from?
Simply phone your current broadband provider and ask them for your MAC code to move your broadband. This should be provided within five days. Make sure you don't cancel your contract when you receive your MAC code as it may take two weeks before you are connected with your new broadband provider.
Your MAC Code is valid for 30 days after it is issued.Share this article