With the internet now such a vital part of modern life and increasingly considered to be an essential utility along with gas, water and electricity, getting a broadband service up and running is a top priority when you move home. We have already written an article touching on this subject (https://www.executiverelocation.co.uk/blog/?p=105), but since we get so many questions about it we thought we might delve a bit deeper for you. Here’s everything you need to know about getting connected to broadband and telephone services, but were afraid to ask:
Checking service availability at your new home
Once you’ve found a property, the first step in the process is identifying what kind of broadband you may be able to get at the new place by running a search on the nearest exchange. This is a free service offered by SamKnows. Just tap in your details and you’ll be able to see which providers and connection types are on offer. Availability can vary depending on your precise location, however the ISP will advise if your chosen service is not an option.
There are three main types of fixed line broadband in the UK:
ADSL – ADSL uses copper telephone lines and is available throughout the country, including many rural areas. Depending on your local exchange you may be able to get a maximum speed of either 8Mb or 16Mb, however the further you are from the exchange the slower the connection will be.
Fibre – Fibre optic broadband replaces the copper telephone line with a high speed fibre cable that greatly improves performances. Coverage is reasonably good, though still largely limited to towns and cities. Fibre broadband is available at speeds of either 38Mb or 76Mb.
Cable – Virgin Media cable broadband is only available to around 50% of the population, so generally not an option outside of bigger towns, but it does offer the fastest mass-market service with a top speed of 120Mb.
Moving within the UK
If you already have a home in the UK with a broadband subscription, it may be possible to take this with you to the new property. Assuming your ISP can offer service, it’s generally quite easy provided you follow the correct process.
Contact your provider and let them know your moving date – some require a couple of weeks’ notice, others may ask for a month, so check this in advance. If you have phone and broadband from the same company you should not need to do much else, they simply need your new address to arrange for the phone and broadband to be activated. Barring any issues which may require an engineer visit (perhaps necessary for fibre optic and cable), there should be little else required and they can have the internet up and running on your moving date.
It’s slightly more complex if you have phone and broadband from separate suppliers. Contact the phone company first and they should give you a Link Order Reference Number (LORN). This must then be given to your broadband supplier. The LORN enables the two companies to synchronise their efforts to get the internet active at the same time as the phone line. If your ISP does not get a LORN it could be a couple of weeks before broadband is setup.
The big problem with moving services from one house to another is the lack of service availability. This is most likely to be problematic with fibre and cable as it may not be fitted at your new exchange, but in that instance the ISP should offer an alternative, even Virgin Media provides standard ADSL broadband to customers outside cable areas.
Another common issue which can delay things is the line not being made available for transfer to your ownership. You’ll need to ensure the existing occupier of your new home correctly cancels their current phone and broadband services, otherwise you could be delayed for many weeks while the line is freed up.
You may want to take the opportunity to cancel your current service and switch to another ISP, but keep in mind that this doesn’t excuse you from paying cancellation fees. You may be liable to pay for all remaining months on your contract and this could add up to a fair chunk of change if you only recently signed up. Generally, moving your current supplier is much cheaper and easier.
The mobile broadband alternative
Mobile broadband has seen a vast improvement over the last couple of years, with much greater coverage and improved speeds. It’s at the point where it may even be worth considering as an alternative to home broadband.
New 4G and ‘ultrafast’ 3G networks can offer faster connections than ADSL broadband, and do so without needing a phone line. You also have the advantage of being able to carry the connection wherever you go.
The big downside is the higher cost and limited data allowance. Many fixed line broadband services are totally unlimited, while mobile broadband contracts don’t go higher than 15GB per month. Heavy users will need to restrict their activities to avoid going over the limits, otherwise they’ll run into additional data fees. You can use the 4G comparison table over at Broadband Genie to look at the different packages currently available, and expect more competitive deals to be added soon as other providers expand their network.
While it may still be suitable for light usage, mobile broadband is perhaps best off as a stopgap. If you can’t be without access for even a day while moving house then a mobile broadband dongle can keep you online while waiting for the fixed line.
Whatever service you plump for, it is worth noting that setting up accounts and arranging connection can only be carried out by the person who will be the account holder. This is because of credit checks that need to take place as part of the set-up process. It can also take a while. As soon as you have chosen a property and have a postcode, start with finding out what services are available and set about getting connected.
I hope you have found this article useful. If you have any questions about this or any other articles on our blog page please visit our Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/executiverelocationplus and post them on our wall.
This article was written with information supplied by Broadbandgenie. Further information can be found on their website (http://www.broadbandgenie.co.uk/).