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Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to switch broadband provider

Are you thinking of switching broadband providers? If your answer is yes, then you’ll be happy to discover that changing from one supplier to another is now easier than ever. But despite this bit of reassurance, you may still be confused with what it is you need to do to ensure a smooth switchover. We take a look at how this hassle-free process works and give you guidance to help you choose a new broadband service provider that you’ll be satisfied with.

In This Guide:

Why should I switch broadband providers?

As a consumer there are a number of reasons why you might want to change broadband providers, with the most popular being:

  • You could benefit from a cheaper broadband deal: Your current contract may be outdated and you may be able to source a provider that could offer you more bang for your buck.
  • You are not happy with your current service provider: If you are disappointed with a provider’s customer care, then this may prompt you to look for a broadband provider that will meet your needs and expectations.
  • You prefer the brand identity of another broadband provider: You may be intrigued by a new brand’s approach or its core values and goals. For example, they may donate a portion of their profits to a charity that’s close to your heart.
  • Your current contract has expired and you would like to try something new: Sometimes people just like to cast their net in a different location to see what’s “out there”. Perhaps you want to try something new to see if you were previously missing out on something?

How to switch broadband providers

Once you have chosen a provider to switch to, then your new supplier will be ready and equipped to handle the transfer for you. This includes notifying your existing provider of the move.

Once a notification has been sent to the necessary departments, then you should receive an email, an SMS or a letter from both new and old broadband providers confirming the switch. This correspondence will include the details of the date of transfer and if there are any outstanding charges to settle.

To avoid any hiccups during the process, you may want to keep an eye on each party’s small print to ensure that you have everything in order from your side. Pay attention to:

  • Contract period and cancellation policy. If you are switching providers within a contractual period, then you may be liable to pay a cancellation fee. Even if there is no minimum contract term, a cancellation fee may still apply.
  • Hidden charges. Check the fine print for any hidden charges such as costs for transferring your broadband service if you switch providers.

How long does it take to switch broadband?

There’s no set rule about how long you’ll have to wait before your new broadband connection is up and running. The typical waiting period, however, is 1-2 weeks although some providers do state that the complete transfer can take up to 6 weeks. Essentially, it depends on how complex your new package is. For example, will you be upgrading from ADSL to cable broadband with the switch?

Once you have signed up with a new provider, they will provide you with an installation date that is convenient for you. This date will be determined after all of your paperwork has been approved.

As for the installation itself, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours - depending on what needs to be done.

Will I lose service during the switch?

Switching broadband is, for the most part, a seamless process and the transfer should be done with little or no interruption to your connection service. There may, however, be some downtime if your switch is more complex and involves: 

  • Switching landline providers. If you are changing landlines, it may be worth your while to check with the new provider to see if they will have any downtime during the switch.  This way, you can make plans to minimise the effects of any disruption to you.
  • Switching between completely different types of broadband. For example, if you are changing from cable to a fibre-optic service. If this is the case, your old service must be cancelled completely so that you can replace it with a new service. With good planning, however, you can avoid having no service for a lengthy period i.e. you can arrange for the new service to commence the day the old one ends.

What to look out for when considering new broadband deals

The best broadband deals are the ones that will suit your needs and your pocket. Before deciding on which provider to switch to, take things such as your usage habits and budget into account. Once you’ve found the right broadband deal, then do yourself a favour and make sure you are 100% aware of what you are signing up for.

It’s worth checking:

  • The duration of the contract
  • The speed estimates for your location
  • The connection charges
  • The line rental costs  
  • The cost of the complete contract

How can I compare broadband deals?

Before switching providers, it’s a good idea to compare broadband prices from a number of providers to make sure you get the best deal.

You can use our online comparison tool to easily compare quotes without going through the hassle of requesting them one by one. Simply enter a few details and we’ll give you quotes and the best broadband packages in your area for you to choose from. This way, you can easily find an affordable broadband deal that suits your needs.