Guest Blog: Broadband in a New-Build Home

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By Jamie Kavanagh, contributor at Broadband Genie

Buying your first home? Buying your first new build? Moving house is a busy, but exciting time. A time full of lists, packing, cardboard boxes and big plans.

Do those plans include getting your new build connected to broadband?

Some new builds come with broadband already installed. Others don’t. If internet is important to your way of life, we recommend organising it as soon as you can so you’re not without a connection for too long.

That’s what this guide is all about. It’s an overview of everything you need to know about connecting your new build home to broadband.

What broadband can I get in my new build home?

As we mentioned at the top, many new build homes come with internet already in place. If you’re lucky, this could be full fibre, offering the fastest speeds.

The government has plans to legislate that all new build properties will be built with broadband built in. Many developers already provide this as they know it’s a selling point.

If your new build home comes with a fibre connection already, you may be already signed up with the supplier who put in the infrastructure (usually BT Openreach but other regional providers are also doing this), for a set period of time. 

Not all developers will mention this when you’re buying a new build home, so it’s worth checking before you begin shopping around.

If you’re not locked into a specific provider, you can check what’s broadband deals are available with a trusted comparison website.

Be aware, that not all new developments will have a postcode yet. ISPs need the Post Office to have updated their postcode database with your new address before they can tell you whether they provide services or not.

BT Openreach has the most broadband coverage and installs into most new developments. After that initial locked-in period, you have the freedom to switch to the many resellers that use the BT Openreach network.

They include Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet and many others.

If you have full fibre, or fibre to the property (FTTP), you have different options. Different parts of the UK have different providers. The postcode checker above will tell you exactly who works in your area.

If you’re in a cabled area, that’s Virgin Media. It’s a separate network to BT Openreach and the two are not compatible.

Broadband contracts

Broadband contracts may seem daunting but they’re really not.

When shopping around, you’ll see a speed and a price. You’ll also see a term, usually 18 or 24 months. That term is the fixed term, where you’re locked into the contract just like a mobile phone contract.

You can leave during that time but the provider can charge an early termination fee.

Once you’re out of that fixed term, your broadband contract switches to a rolling monthly contract. You’ll get exactly the same service, but you’re no longer locked in. 

However, you’ll often find that the price increases at this point, so it’s a good idea to set a reminder so you can find a new deal. Once you’re out of contract you can freely switch broadband provider with no penalty if you choose. If you want to stick with the same provider, contact them to find out what they can offer you to stay.

Do I need to get the fastest broadband deal?

Speed is nice to have but only if you’ll be taking advantage of it. Internet is more important to some than others, so there is no one size fits all solution.

If you have a large family, work from home, download files, stream TV or movies or are a heavy internet user, it’s usually worth investing in faster broadband.

If you don’t work from home and don’t use the internet all that much, it may be better to go for slower, cheaper broadband.

Can I move my current deal to my new home?

If you have a broadband contract already, you may be able to move it to your new home. Much will depend on the situation.

If the developer has locked everyone into a single provider as part of the connection arrangement, you’re not going to be able to take your current broadband contract with you.

If this is the case and you’re still in that fixed-term period we mentioned above, you may be liable for early termination. This is usually the monthly amount you pay multiplied by how many months you have left.

It’s worth discussing this with your current provider, as some will waive the early termination fees when you explain you have no choice but to leave.

How to switch when moving home

If you’re not locked into a single broadband provider in your new build home, you can switch to one that offers services in your area.

You will need your development to have a postcode to be able to find out though.

Use a postcode checker and compare the deals available in your street. Decide whether you need fast broadband or cheap broadband and select the provider you want.

Make sure you’re happy with the speed, fixed term and all the details. Then use the simple signup form to sign up for broadband.

The new provider should contact you to ask when to set up the broadband and arrange everything with you.

They will be able to tell you whether an engineer is required or whether you can just plug the router into the wall and set it up yourself.

If you need an engineer visit, we recommend scheduling installation for a day or two after moving day. There’s a lot going on with a house move so it could be hard to manage everything happening at once.

Can I save money when switching?

You can often save money when switching broadband providers but nothing is guaranteed.

New customers often get some great deals, so it is very likely that you will be able to save money.

Those deals include:

  • Lower prices
  • Faster speed for the same price
  • No setup fee or no upfront cost deals. 
  • Free gifts

You can compare deals with no upfront costs with Broadband Genie. Just make sure the price makes the deal worthwhile over the term, not just the monthly fee!

How do I make sure I have broadband for when I move in?

If your developer has provided broadband as part of the sale, your broadband will likely be ready to use when you move in. We recommend confirming activation with the developer before moving day though, just in case.

If you were able to arrange your own broadband, it may not be ready on the day you move in.

If you don’t need an engineer to set up your connection, your new provider may have sent you a router. You can plug it straight into the wall and follow the simple setup instructions that came with it.

If an engineer does need to visit, you will schedule that ahead of time when you initially sign up for broadband. You can schedule them to visit on moving day, but there’s a lot going on and you can’t guarantee when the engineer might arrive.

It is possible to have broadband up and running on moving day but we recommend planning to use mobile broadband for a day or two, just in case!