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Moving broadband, phone and TV: how to do it when moving house

Posted by Kirsty Parsons - November 20, 2014

For many of us broadband is a utility as important as gas and electricity, so when you move home the question of transferring the service is a big one. Ideally you want to know that broadband will be setup the day you move into a new place, or at least avoid being left without access for weeks on end. Years ago this could be a lot of hassle but there are now systems in place to ensure a smooth transition, so even if you’re moving broadband, phone and TV services all together it is possible to have everything up and running on, or very close to, your moving date.

Before you move

  • Check the availability of services

Broadband access varies across the country so it’s possible that when you move you won’t be able to get the same level of service. This applies to cable internet and fibre optic broadband access in particular, if you move to an area without one of these you’ll lose that high speed connection. Of course, it can also go the other way.

You can contact your current ISP and ask them to check the address to confirm coverage. Alternatively, use the broadband checker tool at BroadbandGenie.co.uk to view the availability of services at a specific address or general area; the latter is useful if you’re still house hunting.

When it comes to TV, this can again depend on broadband connectivity. If there’s no cable broadband you won’t get cable TV, and if you use something like YouView or Netflix to stream video the quality may be impacted by a slower connection. Satellite TV is only dependent on whether you can attach a dish to the property, and standard broadcast Freeview just needs you to be within range (most of the country) and have a suitable aerial.

For the phone the biggest problem you’ll face is that a line either needs installing (perhaps if the property only had cable before) or has been deactivated. There will be an engineer visit and some costs involved, but it’s usually an easy fix.

  • Want to switch providers whem moving broadband, phone and TV?

If you discover that you can’t get the same service at a new property, or simply want to drop the current provider, there is often a price attached. Unless the provider cannot offer anything they will most likely require you to pay a fee to break the contract.

This is less of an issue with ADSL and fibre optic broadband and satellite TV, but with cable you may be forced to downgrade to a slower ADSL line and lose your cable TV - Virgin Media does have an ADSL product using BT lines which is offered to homes lacking cable so if you don’t cancel you might have to use this instead.

  • Contact the providers

Every company will have a minimum time in which it needs to be notified of a transfer of service. This could be two weeks, it could be a month, so find out in advance. If you leave it until the last moment it will delay the setup at your new home.

  • Liaise with the current occupier

A very important step is to confirm with the current occupier of the property that they will be properly cancelling their phone, broadband and TV services for the moving date. The phone is especially important, if this is not done the line will be blocked and your internet access delayed by weeks. If this happens the ISP will attempt to activate it again a few days later, and if still denied will follow a set procedure for gaining access.

When you’re ready to move

First step: contact the providers within their minimum notification period to supply the new address and your moving date.

For broadband and phone from the same provider, just give them the details and follow their instructions, assuming there’s no other problems they should handle the process and cancel then enable your services on the correct dates.

For broadband and phone from separate providers you must first contact the phone company and ask for a Link Order Reference Number (LORN), which is sometimes called a Simultaneous Provide Number (SIM). Then get in touch with the broadband ISP and supply the reference. This will allow the two companies to work together to enable both services on the same day. If this isn’t done it can take several weeks to sort out.

For cable, satellite and Freeview television, including BT or TalkTalk YouView, the steps will vary. Cable and satellite will require an engineer visit to setup the necessary hardware, but for Freeview you can handle this yourself as it’s simply a case of plugging in the aerial to your TV or set top box, and ensuring the broadband is correctly activated.

Money saving tips for moving broadband, phone and TV when moving house

Getting a new home is a good time to take stock of your outgoings and consider ways to cut back on expenditure.

  • Bundle up

Signing up for a broadband, phone and TV bundle from a single provider can simplify bills and equal big savings compared to using separate companies, particularly if you take advantage of the frequent special offers that include free shopping vouchers and months or years of free broadband. You can use Broadband Genie’s broadband, phone and TV bundles comparison table to find the best deals currently available.

  • Cut back on extras

Paying for extra TV channels you don’t watch, or inclusive phone minutes that aren’t being used? Such extras can usually be removed for no charge to reduce monthly bills.

  • Compare broadband deals

When checking the availability of broadband at a new home you might find that there’s a different provider you could sign up for that may be better value. This might not necessarily be cheaper, but if you can make the move from a relatively slow ADSL broadband line to a speedy fibre optic or cable broadband service for not too much more it could prove to be better for you and family by allowing you to do more online. For instance, you could stop paying for premium TV and instead take advantage of the many great catch-up TV and streaming movie services. You can compare broadband deals easily online using comparison sites such as Compare the Market's Broadband Deals

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Topics: Preparing to Move

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