There are many reasons you may want to ditch your home or business broadband provider for another. For one, you may notice a provider offering better Internet for a lot less or get tired of your current provider’s unreliability, poor customer support, etc. Sometimes, you’re simply looking for a broadband package that’s aligned with your future expansion plans, or you want to take advantage of a massive first-time offer from a new provider in town.
This article discusses the basic things you should know about changing your broadband provider in the UK. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll have a nodding acquaintance with the elements that separate the good providers from the great.
- You’re spoilt for choice.
Before settling for a provider, it’s worth noting that there are dozens of broadband providers out there, each offering a unique set of packages and probably targeting a specific group of Internet users. You have to understand your needs before conducting your research.
For a quicker and more hassle-free filter-down procedure, consider visiting broadband review sites and checking how various providers are rated. For example, you can find the find the best broadband on usave.co.uk by viewing the site’s comparison of some of the most reputable companies in the UK.
- Timing is vital.
When is the right time to make a switch? Well, since switching to a new broadband provider means paying new subscription fees, you want to ensure you get the best value for your money on your current broadband. That, for one, may mean making the switch a day or two before your contract expires. It should also be at a time when you’re not in the contract’s minimum terms, as you won’t be required to pay cancellation fees. If your move was motivated by a breach of contract on the broadband provider’s part, you could ditch them without paying the cancellation fees even if you’re still within the minimum terms.
- Broadband speeds vary.
This should go without saying, but many people focus so much on the price and convenience fronts that they forget the most important thing: speed. Established broadband providers offer as much as 1,000 Mbps, with the speeds being dictated by the bundle you sign up for, as well as factors such as your business or home’s location. If you already know what you’ll be using the broadband for, it shouldn’t be hard finding a suitable package. For example, if you live alone, and the most you’ll be doing with your connection is stream movies, 5-10 Mbps would be sufficient for standard definition, while 25 Mbps would do it for high-definition streaming. Around 100 Mbps may be required for a family of four moderate Internet users.
- Customer support is crucial.
Imagine working from home, and then in the middle of a Zoom meeting with a high-quality lead, your Internet service decides it’s time to take a break. That would potentially take a near-sure business away from you and ruin your reputation.
These episodes, albeit few and far between, are virtually unavoidable regardless of your broadband provider. The best thing to do is to ensure whoever you entrust with your home or office Internet is someone who will be ready to help when the balloon goes up. You can check the customer support rating of your soon-to-be provider on review sites and testimonials on their site.
- Reliability may be down to the technology used.
Technology changes by the day and many broadband providers are trying their best to stay abreast of the changes. While doing your search, ensure to create a place for technology in your filter-down process. It may prove time-consuming, but acquainting yourself with the latest advancements can help you identify the candidates that are head and shoulders above the competition.
Some companies have integrated channel optimization features into their routers. These features trim the prospect of connection interruption by ensuring you’re connected to a non-congested channel. In doing so, such broadband providers ensure clients always get the speeds they were promised.
- Contract periods and terms differ.
The typical broadband contract runs for 12 months, but some companies offer more or less, depending on the package you sign up for. You want a deal that offers the perfect balance of flexibility and affordability.
Always look at the contract lengths your candidates offer to ensure you don’t get stuck with a provider longer than you need to. The best part is that most providers give you a 14-day cooling-off period at the start of your contract. During this time, you can cancel your subscription without receiving any penalties. You may, however, be required to pay early exit charges, meaning you’re better off doing your research before committing to a deal.
- You can keep your landline number.
Thanks to Ofcom’s number porting rules, users can keep their home phone number when switching broadband providers. But then, of course, this depends on whether or not your new provider has a landline service in their catalog. If they do, you’ll only be required to provide your landline number, and the broadband service will arrange for it to be transferred.
- Switching mobile and TV services may require a separate process.
Various broadband providers have different terms for TV and mobile service provision. For some, their services are exclusive to their broadband clients. Others, including Virgin Media and Sky, give you the chance to keep their services when you move to another broadband provider.
That said, if you’re changing your TV and broadband provider at the same time, two separate processes will apply. For example, you may receive a dish from your broadband provider and a set-top box from your television service provider. Telephone services may also be provided separately, but only for billing purposes.
There’s nothing difficult about switching broadband providers. However, if you don’t conduct proper research before committing to a service, you may encounter unexpected problems, and even be forced to make another switch. The above tips give you useful insights into broadband services and what it means to switch providers.