Changing broadband provider

Young man using a laptop

Are you considering changing broadband provider but confused by what you need to do? Then read our guide to changing internet service provider to make it as hassle free as possible.

Switching broadband – ways to switch

Switching broadband provider has become a lot easier since the telecoms regulator Ofcom introduced new rules in 2015. There are two ways to switch broadband supplier, ‘gaining provider led’ and ‘cease and re-provide’, with each process being determined by the type of connection you have and the provider you are switching to and from.

The gaining provider led process means your new provider will handle the switch for you. They will contact your current provider to inform them you wish to leave and will take care of setting you up with your new broadband package.

Cease and re-provide means you need to cancel your current broadband package and start your new contract with the provider you switch to separately. This is most common if you have a cable connection.

The decision: what should you look for in a broadband deal?

Making the decision to move is only the first step in the process and it’s at this point that you’ll start thinking about choosing a new broadband provider and deal. However, it’s important at this stage to not just pick what appears to be the cheapest deal.

While price may be one of your main motivating factors in changing broadband provider, the level of service offered should be considered with many smaller broadband providers offering excellent 24 hour customer service.

In fact many smaller broadband providers consider their level of service as their unique selling point!

Are there costs involved in switching?

If you go direct, you might find that as a new customer you’ll have to fork out a number of upfront costs, including the installation of a phone line or a new broadband modem.

But hold on! By using to find a new broadband provider you can compare contracts that offer free installation and a free modem in tow. You might also find that, being a new customer, you could benefit from lower monthly payments- a huge benefit of switching providers!

The comparison

The first thing you should do is enter is your postcode into the comparison tool as not all broadband providers cover every location in the UK. This will let you search for all the best deals available for your location.

Next, it’s important to decide on the package that you need, which is different for each individual user. If you live along and don’t use the internet much, you might want to opt for a low usage limit. On the other hand, you might be a hectic family of four needing an internet connection that’ll keep up with the demands of your household!

Ready to switch? Start comparing broadband deals today!

Asking for help: the broadband forum

Your search for the perfect broadband package can also be aided by visiting our broadband forum.

From here you can read customer reviews in our ‘near live’ forum where customers score their broadband providers in 5 key areas:

  • Customer service
  • Technical support
  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Billing

You should also read customer reviews to get a realistic view of a broadband provider, from the package they’re offering, to their customer service team.

Ready to switch? Next steps

Broadband switching changed on the 20th June 2015.

Previously, for the majority of switches, you needed something called a MAC from your losing broadband provider.

You’d then pass this code along to your new provider to initiate the switch.

No more.

Ofcom have moved switching to a gaining provider led process – that means no more MAC codes.

Now all you need to do is find the right deal for and sign up. Your new provider will now look after everything making switching broadband even easier.

Ask the MoneySuperMarket Expert

If you have a problem that you think cannot be resolved by the MAC scheme or the information in this guide, then offers a unique service called 'Ask the Expert'. You can send a message to our expert who will try to answer your broadband queries as soon as possible (normally within 24hrs).

The small print

While many of us generally skip the small print, you may find it useful to cast an eye over the following:

  • Contract period - Almost all broadband providers will require you to sign-up for a minimum period of time, typically 12 or 18 months. Certain broadband providers offer no minimum contract term but there may be a cancellation fee in the small print that could equate to the same cost as ending a contract earlier.
  • Cancellation policy - If you wish to end your contract early then check what costs you may incur. This could be a standard fee regardless of the number of months left on your contract or alternatively be the sum of the remaining monthly fees.
  • Hidden charges - Check the small print for hidden charges such as costs for moving your broadband service if you move home.

Your rights when switching providers

Should you find yourself in the unlikely situation where your existing service provider is making it difficult for you to change broadband provider then it is wise to know your rights.

The first thing you should do is keep a record of your telephone conversations including the date, time and name of who you speak to.

Whilst the MAC code of conduct ensures a swift timescale is adhered to, you may in other circumstances need to know your rights that are covered in the 1979 Sale of Goods Act.

This may allow you to cancel or change your broadband provider during your contracted period if the goods or service provided are not of a satisfactory quality, the goods or service is not as described or if they are not fit for the purpose advertised by the supplier.

Further advice and assistance can be sought from the following bodies:

  • Citizens Advice - A free service provided by the government with practical consumer advice on their website or via the phone; 08454 040506.
  • Which? Legal Service - Unlimited legal services for your household for £86 per year.
  • Ombudsman Services - If a dispute cannot be resolved between you and your broadband provider then the Ombudsman Services can listen impartially to both sides of the dispute and decide what action should be taken, if any.

Contact us

We are here to help you as much as we can.

We offer an impartial broadband advisory service over the phone about how to change provider that is open 9-6pm Monday-Friday (except bank holidays):

Call us on 0800 298 5770 (calls are charged at a local rate).

You can ask our broadband expert any question about the broadband market, best deals or how to resolve any problems you might have with changing provider. Ask the Expert is available any time and we normally respond to your questions within 24hrs.

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