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Broadband and moving house

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Upcoming house move? Sorting broadband is probably on your to-do list and, with some planning, you can get your new home connected quickly.

young couple on their laptop setting up broadband while moving house

You’ll need to find out:

  • how much notice you need to give your current broadband provider
  • how long before your internet is up and running at your new place
  • whether you’ll need to change your landline phone number when you move house and change provider

If you’re moving from a part-fibre broadband contract to a house with part-fibre already installed, it should be quite simple.  You can often set it up yourself, and your new broadband provider will send you a router which you need to plug in.

If you’re moving from or to a provider that doesn’t use the Openreach network, such as Virgin Media or Hyperoptic, you may need an engineer visit. This is because these connections might not be installed at your new property yet.

In many cases, your internet contract can move house with you. You may even be able to keep your current broadband bundle, which may include internet, phone and TV.

Examples of some exceptions are:


  • if you’re on full fibre internet and it’s not available at your new property
  • if the area you’re moving to isn’t covered by your current provider

Providers often have a dedicated ‘Moving House’ broadband team. So you should be able to talk through your options, timescales and any potential costs with them. Before you contact your provider, check its moving home online portal for frequently asked questions.

In some cases, you may need to start a new broadband contract. This may mean deciding on a new term – 12, 18 or 24 months.

It can be frustrating to be without internet for a few days when you move to a new house or apartment. A Uswitch survey found that the average wait for broadband when moving house was 8 days.

To reduce the chance of delays, give your broadband provider at least 14 days’ notice. Some companies need 30 days’ notice, so check your contract or give them a ring to confirm what they need to know. Allow a few days for the installation to be set up if it’s needed. And on the big day itself, it may take up to two hours to be connected.

Some providers offer next-day broadband installation but you should plan for a brief internet outage, even if it’s just a day. In many cases, your new line can be activated automatically. Otherwise, an engineer will need to come out to the property – for example, if you’re moving with Virgin Media and the new property hasn’t installed it before.

Many of the major internet providers offer an online tracking service so you can check on progress while you’re unpacking boxes.

All the major broadband providers took around a week to connect customers after a house move, according to a 2023 Uswitch survey. Virgin Media and Vodafone were the quickest, followed by Sky Broadband, EE and BT.

If you’re moving to a new-build house or apartment that’s never had internet, you need to check if there is an Openreach connection. The developer should have installed Openreach equipment at the property, but some come with a full fibre connection from a different network instead.

If your chosen broadband provider has said they can’t connect you at the new property, you can get in touch with Openreach. It’ll ask for the name of the developer or builder, the name of the housing site or development and your planned moving date.

Its team should also ask you to check if there’s an Openreach box in the new-build property. If you haven’t yet moved in, ask the developer or agent if they can check for you.

The cost to move your internet contract varies according to the broadband provider. It usually depends on whether you need to cancel your current contract early or not. Remember to take all your broadband equipment and cables with you on moving day.

If you’re moving to a provider that requires an Openreach line, you’ll likely have one available at your new property. But on the occasion you need one installed, there may be a connection charge - unless you’re taking out a new contract. Check when you’re viewing the house or apartment or ask your estate agent to find out for you.

As of December 2023, here are some example costs from some of the major internet providers:

Broadband provider Cost to move house Additional costs
Free (see additional costs)
£30 to get a new BT line installed if you’re currently using copper broadband, also known as ADSL.
Sky Broadband
Free (see additional costs)
Charge to install a new landline, if required.
Charge to install new satellite dish - engineer visit usually required.
Virgin Media
Or £35 per transfer if you’re a new or re-contracting customer on or after 25 May 2023.
no additional cost

While you’re waiting to be connected, you could tether your phone and use your mobile phone data if you have enough. If not, you may become a regular fixture at the local library or café.

Check with your provider if they have any additional free services. If you’re on BT, for example, you can use one of its Wi-Fi hotspots.

You may decide to invest in a mobile internet dongle to see you through a few days or weeks without broadband.

Speak to your new landlord if you want to take your broadband contract with you when you move. Tell them if it may involve any work on the property, such as drilling holes for a new connection.

Otherwise, it’s best to try to time your broadband contracts with your tenancy contract if you can.

You can usually stay with your current broadband provider and package when you move house. Check how long you have left on your contract and speak to your provider in advance.

In some cases, it may not be possible to stay with the same provider. For example, the house you’re moving to may not have access to the broadband provider you’re currently with

If you’re still in your contract and you want to switch broadband providers when you move house, you may need to pay a fee. This is known as an exit fee or early termination charge (ETC). Your provider should email you with a breakdown of how this charge is calculated. It could be time to upgrade your package and take advantage of any new deals! Equally, if you’re downsizing, this may be a chance to renegotiate your package.

If you’re out of your initial contract term, moving house might be a good opportunity to find a cheaper broadband deal that’s more suited to your needs. If you’re keen to get faster broadband, this may be available at your new property.

Already know the postcode at your new property? See what broadband deals are available.

If you’re able to keep your current package when you move, then yes. But it depends on where you’re moving to and which providers cover that area.

If full fibre connections or Virgin Media aren’t available, for example, you are likely to only have a maximum of 70Mbps speeds to play with. But this is still plenty for many households, so you needn’t be too concerned if this is the case.

If you stayed with the same provider when you moved but your speeds have significantly dropped, you could argue for a reduced monthly fee.

You may be able to keep your landline phone number, but in some cases, this may not be possible. This is often the case if you’re moving out of the area.

When moving within the same telephone exchange, it tends to be easier to keep your landline number.  Speak to your provider as early as possible and request to keep your phone number. Avoid cancelling your existing contract before you’ve had this conversation.

With Sky Broadband, there’s no option to keep your landline number when you move. This is worth bearing in mind before you decide on a provider.

  • Need to move your installation date? Let your provider know as soon as possible in case you’re charged for a missed appointment.
  • Send back your old broadband router or you may be charged. Check your contract if you’re not sure.
  • If there’s an Openreach box at the property you’re vacating, leave this for the new owners or tenants. It’s registered to that address and won’t work in a new house.
  • If you’re connecting your new home to ultra-fast fibre broadband, Openreach may have to survey the property.
  • The area you’re moving to may have one dominant internet provider. For example, if it’s an area that was traditionally served by cable broadband, Virgin Media might have what’s known as a monopoly. Until recently, a company called KCOM had a broadband monopoly in Hull in the UK.

Find out more about the different types of broadband.

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