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How to switch broadband provider

By Jon Barrow

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How to switch broadband provider

If you're unhappy with your broadband provider then use our simple tips to switch your broadband to someone better.

Finding your perfect new package is only the first step towards switching – there's a process to follow if you want to change services with the minimum downtime.

But you don't need to be put off by the thought of switching. 77% of switchers in a recent Which? survey told us that they found it easy to do and many ended up with cheaper packages, faster speeds and more reliable connections. And, in the majority of cases, the whole process took less than two weeks.

If you want to switch broadband provider then use our broadband deal reviews to find the best package for you, then follow our simple steps to make the move as smooth as possible:

Step 1: Check you can leave your current provider

Before starting any broadband switching process, check your current contract and make sure you've completed the minimum term. If you're unsure then give your provider a call to check. If you're still under contract, you could be hit with a heavy cancellation fee for leaving early.

If you're outside your minimum contract period, your broadband provider will be keen to keep your custom and may even offer you a cheaper broadband deal or another incentive to stay. 

Read our guide on how to haggle for the best broadband deal to make sure you get the best offer possible.

Step 2: Choose a new broadband deal

Use an online comparison service to check which providers offer broadband where you live and to compare the available deals. Choose a broadband package that offers the speed and data allowance you want and look for a line rental deal that offers the inclusive calls you need - for example free evening and weekend calls. 

If you're tempted to get television and broadband from the same supplier, find out which are the best TV and broadband providers first.

Once you've got a deal in mind, make sure you have all the details on exactly what you'll be signing up for – and for how long. If you're not given one, ask for a speed estimate for your address, as well as checking for any connection or router charges and the total monthly cost.

Step 3: Contact your chosen new provider

If you're switching between providers who use the Openreach telecoms network - such as BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk – then your new provider will arrange the whole transfer for you. They'll let your old provider know that you want to move and you'll then be sent notification letters (from your old and new providers) confirming what's happening and when the transfer should take place as well as setting out any early termination charges that you'll have to pay. 

Our guide on how to contact your broadband provider includes customer service numbers for the biggest providers.

Step 4: Contact your existing provider (if required)

If you're switching to or from a cable network such as the one used by Virgin Media, you'll need to stop your service with your current provider and start a new one with a new provider (sometimes known as 'cease and re-provide').

In these circumstances you'll need to contact both your current provider to cancel your contract and your new provider to arrange your new broadband service. You'll then receive notification from the provider you are leaving that your contract is ending (and notification of any charges associated with this), and will be given a new contract from your new provider which will tell you when your contract is due to start.

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