How to make switching broadband a smoother process

Mobile broadband

Our guide explains the problems you may encounter and how to overcome them.

Switching broadband provider can get you faster internet, a better service and save you money - and most of the time it's a smooth process...

But despite regulation from Ofcom - to allow seamless switching between copper wire ADSL providers - new technologies mean you could still encounter a problem or two.

Local loop unbundling

There are millions of local loop unbundled (LLU) broadband lines across the UK - and the number's growing all the time.

It's popular because once providers have installed their own equipment in the local telephone exchange, they no longer have to pay BT for access to the network and can pass these savings on to you!

However, the different type of technology used in LLU connections means there can be problems if you want to switch back to the BT network, and back to a standard ADSL provider. There's a good chance you won't get the same seamless switch that you would from using a MAC code (which you can request from your provider) between two ADSL providers.

If you have to cut off your LLU broadband and then have an ADSL line reconnected, you might have to pay a cease and re-provide fee of up to £60.

If your entire line was unbundled - with both broadband and telephone from an LLU provider - you might also have to pay to be returned to the BT network.

BT now offers free line installation if you take a broadband and calls package - or a "triple play" package including YouView digital TV from BT. Customers taking only home telephone with their BT line rental pay around £30 for line installation.

But if you live in a new-build home, with no phone line whatsoever, you might have to pay up to £130, depending on how much work needs to be done.

In a few rare cases, customers have even found themselves being charged by two different providers, after they followed the wrong process and their old contract wasn't properly cancelled.

Unfortunately, although Ofcom has tried to make the switching process easier, it is still difficult to get the correct information on how to switch provider, so make sure you do your research before signing-up.



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