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Moving house: how to set up internet in a new home

Moving home soon and worried you'll be without internet when you get in? We're here to help. This guide will explain what you need to know to minimise stress and downtime. In this article, we'll explain:

  • How to prepare yourself
  • How to research the providers offering broadband around your new home
  • How to go about switching providers
  • What to do if you want to stay with the same provider when you move

Before you move

1. Check which broadband providers serve your new address

You'll have access to different broadband services depending on your address, so it's important to check which providers are available for your new home.

You might discover that your current provider doesn't serve your new home, or you may be able to get a better deal than you have now if you get a new contract.

You can check broadband coverage right now using our deals checker:

Broadband Genie deals checker

We recommend doing this search before you move into your new place. If you want to change providers, it's likely you'll have to give at least 30 days' notice. If you're sticking with the same provider, a lead time of at least two weeks is preferable. That way, you can ensure that you have internet access in your new place as soon as possible.

2. Find out if there’s a better broadband deal

When you’re looking for broadband for your new home, it's best to be open to a new deal.

You might be able to save money with a different provider, or upgrade to a faster connection from your current ISP.

Here are some of the best deals currently available:

Dynamic deal panel

3. Speak to your current provider

You need to speak to your current provider before making any changes to your broadband.

If you’re planning on staying with the same provider, find out their procedure for moving the connection to a new home. Ask how much notice you have to give; if you time it wrong, you could end up delaying the installation of your new broadband.

Or are you tempted by a better deal? Switching broadband is easy, but if you're still in contract with your current provider, cancelling early might mean you need to pay a fee.

Check with your provider to find out if you’re still in contract. If you are, find out how much it would cost you to terminate. If you’re out of contract, then switching is straightforward. Our guide to cancelling broadband has more information, or you can find help for cancelling specific providers on our broadband providers page.

Some providers may waive the charge if they can't supply a service at your new address, but they aren’t forced to do so.

Moving and staying with the current provider

If you're staying with the same provider, get in touch with customer support and let them know of your move date.

The provider will then handle the activation of your new landline and deactivate your old service. It shouldn't be a problem if you want to keep your landline number.

As long as you don't leave this to the last minute, it’s possible to have the new line activated close to the day you move in. But be prepared, as hiccups do happen! Think ahead about a backup connection. A mobile broadband dongle or tethered smartphone can be a good option to get emergency internet access for at least a day or two. BT Broadband customers won't need to worry about this. If service activation is delayed by more than two days, a BT or EE 4G Mini Hub will be send out.

For more information about phone lines and broadband setup, check out our guide to phone line installation and our guide to the broadband installation process.

We also have the following dedicated moving home guides:

How much notice do you need to give your provider?

The table below shows the minimum notice period for some providers, along with costs and contact details. But you should confirm all costs and terms before doing anything.

Last checked October 2023


Minimum notice


BT 2 weeks Charges apply for new line or upgrades
DST 2 weeks Free. £39.95 for a new line.
NOW Broadband 10 working days Free
Origin Broadband 18 days £29.99
Plusnet 4 weeks Free if new contract, or charges apply.
Sky Broadband 2 weeks Free unless "non-standard installation"
TalkTalk 2 weeks £60, or free with a re-contract
Virgin Media 2 weeks £20-£35 transfer charge
Vodafone 30 days Free

Can I keep the same home phone number when I move?

You can keep your landline number when you move, even if you move providers. You just have to let your provider know so that it can be transferred.

Can I take my current internet equipment with me when I move?

Yes, you can take your current internet equipment with you when you move. However, we only really recommend this if you’re sticking with the same provider and deal. If you have the same kind of connection, your provider might even encourage it. However, if you’re going from ADSL, or the traditional copper phone line, to fibre or full fibre, you’ll need to be sent new gear.

INew routers are bundled into new broadband contracts as standard. Your old provider will possibly want you to send back your old router.

Some installation may also be required. Make sure you find out what connections the house has had before and arrange for an engineer’s visit if you need one.

How to switch broadband providers when you move home

Switching to a new provider during your home move isn't complicated, but it's important to get organised ahead of time, so you aren't left waiting weeks for internet access in your new home.

1. Check the contract and confirm any fees

If you’re still within the minimum contract term, there's often an early termination charge. Contact the provider to find out if this applies and how much it could cost you.

2. Choose a new deal

Enter the postcode of the new property in our deals checker to find out what's available in your new area. Find your favorite and complete the transaction on the providers' site.

3. Cancel your current broadband service

Once you've got a moving date, contact your provider and request they end the service no later than the day you move out.

The notice period for cancellations varies, so get in touch with your provider well ahead of time and confirm how much notice they require.

It’s important to arrange this in advance to avoid unnecessary extra costs and prevent the line from being blocked for the next occupant.

How long will it take to get working broadband in my new home?

It can take around two weeks to get your new broadband contract sorted and online. This includes time for any admin. The switching on doesn’t take too long, but it’s still best to arrange the switch at least two weeks in advance.

How long will I be without internet when I move?

Provided you’ve timed everything right, you should be able to get working broadband close to the day you move in. However, it may not be possible to have it done for the exact move-in date.

How much will it cost to move or switch my broadband to a new home?

There aren’t necessarily any extra fees for moving your broadband. If you’re sticking with the same deal and taking your own equipment, it may not cost you anything.

If you’re changing deals or providers, though, it could involve some additional fees.

First, there’s a termination fee. If you’re still in your contract, you’ll need to pay a fee to end the service. This could wind up being pretty expensive, depending on how long it has to run. If you have months left on your contract, you’ll be paying more than if you only had a week or two left.

If you’re changing providers because your current one doesn’t serve your new area, you might be able to get out of your contract for free. However, not all providers offer this.

Other than a termination fee, other costs you may have to make could be related to your new deal. Though most providers will send you new equipment for free, some do charge for installation.

If you’re not sure about the costs, then don’t worry. If you click on the 'offer details and pricing' tab in our listings, we’ll be clear on what you need to pay. And when you sign up for a provider, you should receive a breakdown of all costs.

How do I install internet in a new-build house or flat?

If your new home is a new build, then there may not be any broadband connection in place. This means you'll have to arrange an engineer visit.

An engineer will need to install the lines between the building and a nearby cabinet, and this may cost money.

If possible, you should try to arrange this visit before you move in. If you wait until you’ve moved in, you’ll be without internet until everything is installed.

It's becoming increasingly common to find that broadband is being added as new homes are completed. But this can mean your choice of providers is limited by the type of line that’s installed. If you’re at all uncertain, contact the house builder or selling agents to confirm.

What are some potential issues you may encounter during a house move?

Moving into or out of a Virgin Media or full fibre (FTTP) network area

The Virgin Media network, and networks of full fibre providers such as Hyperoptic, are different from the Openreach services used by almost all other providers.

These use different lines, so you can't seamlessly switch from one to another. These providers also have a smaller coverage area than Openreach. So, if you’re currently using Virgin Media or another FTTP provider, you may find that it's not available at the new home. If this is the case, you’ll have to pay any cancellation fees that apply, and you'll have to accept you'll need to downgrade. 

In some instances, you could find the new house doesn’t have an active BT telephone line. In that case, there's an additional cost for setting up a line, even if the broadband deal comes with free setup.

Delays to broadband activation when moving home

Delays to the activation of new broadband when moving can be frustrating, but they can often be avoided. Help yourself out by getting in touch with your provider as soon as you know a move date.

There can also be a delay if the previous occupant hasn’t cancelled their phone or broadband. This will block the line, and it can take a week or two for your provider to be able to activate your service.

In some instances, delays to the installation date may happen if the provider isn’t able to get an engineer visit organised for the new property for the moving date due to high demand.

How to set up broadband in a new home

Here are a few tips to help you get the best out of the broadband connection in your new home...

  • Get plugged in: make sure the router is plugged into the main phone or internet socket.
  • Avoid telephone extension cables, if possible: if you must use an extension, get a good quality rounded phone wire, not the cheap flat cables. If you’re having work done, it’s a good opportunity to get it properly set up in the right location to avoid extensions. Get your wires checked, too, just so you’ll know if they’ll need replacing.
  • Use extenders/boosters: thick walls or certain types of construction materials can block the signal. Use wireless boosters or mesh Wi-Fi to extend the range.
  • Create a wired network: you can purchase powerline network adapters. These use electrical circuits to transmit data and require no complex configuration. All you need to do is plug in one adapter next to your router and add other adapters where required throughout the home. You’ll have fast network access without the signal problems that can sometimes hinder Wi-Fi.

For further help, check out our other guides:

Expert Summary

There are a few things you can do to make moving house slightly less stressful - at least when it comes to your internet connection. 

Check the deals available in your new area and contact your provider to either let them know you’re moving, or cancel your current deal.

If you’re getting a new contract, make sure you leave enough time for it to be set up if you want broadband available the day you move in. And finally, if you need new lines put in or engineering work, make sure you can get in the new building for when the installation needs to be done.

We recommend that you use our deals checker to see what’s available around your new home. Then you can decide whether to keep your deal and see if that’s even possible. If you can save some money with a better contract, you should do so.

Meet the author:


Matt has been working with Broadband Genie since 2009. A lifelong tech enthusiast, he has 20 years of experience writing about technology for print and online.

Specialist subject: The technicalities of broadband

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