Moving home?: how to take your internet with you

5 min read
June 18, 2024

So you’re halfway through your broadband contract when the time comes to move house. Is it possible to take it with you? 

Moving is stressful and expensive. The need to cancel and start a new broadband contract is just one bit of life admin you could really do without – and same goes for any charges associated with ending or changing a contract.

Can you continue with your current broadband contract at your new address or do you have to cancel and start a new one? What charges are you likely to incur? For most people the answer to these questions can feel pretty unclear.

In this short guide, we give you some clarity on how to handle your broadband contract when moving home depending on your provider and where you’re moving to.   

If you’re using mobile broadband

Mobile broadband has grown more popular in recent years with the launch of 5g services. If you’re moving home, you’ll need to use your provider’s coverage checker to see if you’ll get good indoor coverage at your new address.

If you are fortunate enough to be moving somewhere with good coverage from your current provider then you’ll just be able to move with no complications other than simply notifying your provider so it has your updated details.

However, if you’re moving somewhere with poor coverage then you may need to cancel your contract with your current provider. If this is the case, you will probably be charged for the outstanding months of your current minimum contract period. Get in touch with your provider directly to find out what charges you may incur.

If your mobile phone contract is also with that provider then it may be more flexible in applying charges. Make sure you consider this when you call to discuss your options.

If you’re with Virgin Media

If your broadband is provided by Virgin Media you should let them know as soon as you’ve confirmed the date you will be moving. Ask them to check whether they cover the area that you’re moving to.

If it is possible for them to continue to provide your broadband, you can ask them to simply transfer your contract to the new address. There will be a small admin fee for the move – usually around £20. Your monthly billing and service should then just continue as before. All you may need to arrange is for an engineer to come and install a line to your new home. 

If Virgin Media doesn’t cover the area you’re moving to then you’ll have to cancel your contract. If you’re still within the minimum contract period then, unfortunately, it’s likely that you’ll be charged an Early Disconnection Fee (EDF). This can be quite substantial depending on what’s left to run on your minimum contract term and what package you’ve subscribed to Virgin Media for. The page with details of their EDF charges can be found here.

If you don’t have long to go on your contract and have been a long-standing customer Virgin Media may exercise some good will and waive the EDF. So it is absolutely worth contacting Virgin Media to plead your case.

Having cancelled with Virgin Media, don’t forget to organise a new provider for your moving-in date to ensure you’re not left without coverage.

If you’re moving to or away from Hull

Kingston upon Hull is different to the rest of the UK in that it has a single provider, Kingston Communications, that doesn’t use Openreach network cables. So if you’re moving to the area covered by Kingston Communications then you’ll need to take out a contract before you move in to allow it to set up your service in a timely fashion. 

If you’re moving away from Hull, you won’t be able to take your service with you as Kingston Communications only operates there. In that case you need to give 30 days’ notice as a minimum. Fortunately there is no early termination fee so you won’t incur any additional charges as a result of your move. 

For most other broadband providers

Other than those mentioned above, wherever you move in the UK you’ll be using the Openreach network (previously BT) for your broadband. (Unless you’re using something exotic like satellite broadband).

Whether you’re getting superfast fibre broadband or more pedestrian ADSL, all other broadband providers run services over this infrastructure, including Plusnet, Sky, BT and Vodafone. As a result, you’re almost certainly going to be able take your contract with you. This also means that you won’t incur early cancellation fees. However, depending on your provider you may have to a pay a small admin fee to make the switch.

What if my current service isn’t available?

Depending on whether the address you’re moving to already has broadband services connected to it, you might have to arrange installation in time for your moving day – and, annoyingly, there may be a charge for this. To find out, you will need to call your current broadband provider and ask them to check what is needed and arrange everything for you to make the move of service as seamless as possible. 

The only potential spanner in the works may be if the type of service you’re currently using is not available at your new location. For example, if you’re currently using superfast fibre broadband it may not be available at your new address, meaning that you’ll have to switch to slower ADSL. As the monthly price for this is usually cheaper, most providers will allow you to switch to a cheaper subscription package as long as you honour the minimum contract period. However, some may force you to take out a new minimum contract term. 

Conversely, you may find you’re moving from somewhere you couldn’t get fibre broadband to an address with this option. In this case you may want to upgrade your package to take advantage of the higher speeds available.

With all this arranged in advance you shouldn’t have any problems – and get a smooth transition of service from your old address to your new one. However, as with anything, there can be problems so make sure you double-check all the documentation sent by your provider just in case.

Problems with service provision or billing when you move home? Then make a complaint – Resolver can help for free.


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