Moving home can be a frantic and stressful experience at the best of times, but we can help make things go a little easier by showing you how to deal with the broadband.

Broadband is easily left to the last minute in the rush to deal with everything else during a house move, but this can mean you’re left waiting to get connected at your new place. There are also extra costs and complications which mean that it is well worth your while to put aside some time to think about internet access when you’re organising the move.

Checking broadband coverage

The first step is to investigate what broadband is available at the new home with a postcode check. You can check broadband availability with Broadband Genie or get a more technical report from the SamKnows broadband tools. Any internet service provider (ISP) will also be able to check for you, but of course they will only tell you about the types of broadband they offer so you may not get the whole picture.

Broadband coverage varies depending on location, so you could find that you’re not able to get the same speed or service, or that you have other options which weren’t available before.

Switch or stay?

Once you know what kind of broadband is on offer in the new area consider whether you want to stick with the current provider or switch to a different service.

Assuming the same service is available, staying with the current provider is usually the best option. The fees will be minimal, and you can carry over your existing contract.

But switching to a new deal has benefits too. There may be a faster and/or cheaper package, and you can take advantage of special offers for new customers. Before you do this though, check that you’re not still in contract.

Broadband contracts and moving home

Cancelling a broadband package while still in contract will usually require payment. If you’re just a few months away from the end date the cost could be minor, otherwise it can end up being quite expensive. In that situation it would be better to take the existing service when moving, then switch once you’re out of contract.

It’s important to note that if you move to an area where the provider doesn’t offer any services you will still need to pay for early terminations fees.

Notifying your broadband ISP of a house move

Whether you decide to switch or stay it’s important to speak to current provider well ahead of the moving date to find out their minimum notice periods for either cancellation or house moves. Leaving this too late can mean that broadband at your new home is not activated on the day you move in, and you can block the line at your previous property which delays things for the new occupant.

Typically they will need to be told your moving date at least 14 days in advance, but each provider’s policies are different so contact them to confirm. At the same time you should ask about any potential costs.

How much does it cost to move broadband to a new home?

The cost for moving a broadband contract is not the same for every ISP. Some do not charge, others may ask for around £60 unless you agree to a new contract term (which means you are committing to that provider for another 12, 18 or 24 months regardless of how long is left on your existing deal).

However, there will be extra expense if a new phone line or any other engineering work is required.

Moving to and from a Virgin Media network area

Most broadband providers use the BT Openreach network to deliver broadband. Switching between providers on the Openreach network involves a handover process that is largely managed by the providers, which is why notification periods are so important to ensure cancellation and activation take place at the same time.

But Virgin Media broadband runs on a separate network. If you move into or out of a Virgin area, you’ll need to handle the cancellation of the old service and the activation of the new broadband. You may also need to pay a cancellation fee to Virgin if they are unable to offer services at the new address.

For more information on broadband and moving home, use Broadband Genie’s guide.