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How to switch broadband provider - Everything you need to know in a simple guide

Switching broadband provider doesn’t have to be complicated; and you could be reaping the benefits of a new deal. Changing internet provider could give you more for your money, a faster connection and lower your monthly costs. 

This guide covers the most common questions that arise when it comes to changing broadband provider. So, you can make an informed choice and feel confident about switching.

Why should I switch broadband providers?

Young couple searching for Your Co-op broadband

You might be overpaying if your initial contract has ended

If you haven't looked at your contract recently, you should. You might be paying more now because initial discounts have ended. Providers usually offer discounts for the first 18 months. When your contract ends, your provider is required to inform you and should notify you of new offers. After your initial contract ends, you can often upgrade to a cheaper price, better service and equipment with your current provider. If not, consider switching to a company offering better rates.

You can switch to a better deal even if you're still in contract but watch out for hefty exit fees. It's best to compare deals, wait until your contract ends, and then switch.

If your broadband provider hikes prices during your contract, you usually have 30 days to cancel without penalty. If your broadband speed doesn't match what you're paying for, you might be able to exit your contract without any fees as your provider could be in breach of contract.

Man looking for a new broadband provider

Get a better deal with minimal effort

Broadband speeds and technology are constantly improving. Just like other technologies, such as TVs and computers, routers can also become outdated. Keeping up to date with the latest technological advances means you can get better services. 

Superfast broadband is available in over 95% of the UK so if you are behind with technological advancements or using an ADSL service, there are modern and reliable options available. 

Do you have a package or bundle deal with subscription services or landline calls? It's worth reviewing your usage of these services. Streaming technologies offer numerous subscription services, some of which you may barely use. Consider downsizing your broadband package to save money that might otherwise go to waste.

Check you can leave your current Broadband Provider before switching

Follow these steps before for switching broadband providers:

Check Your Contract Status

Ensure you've completed the minimum contract term before switching. You can check your current contract by reviewing the terms or contacting your provider.

Avoid Early Exit Fees

If you're still in contract and want to switch, be aware of potential fines for early termination. Wait until your contract ends to avoid these fees.

Explore Offers from Current Provider

If you've completed the minimum contract period, your current provider might offer reduced prices or other incentives to keep you. Consider these offers before switching.

Research and Compare Offers

Take the time to explore what other providers are offering, they often have special deals and promotions for new customers.

Things to consider before changing internet provider

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What speed do you need?

The amount of Internet usage your home regularly uses will largely determine the broadband speeds you need for your package. If you work from home, streaming services or have teenagers with a gaming habit then you will need a Superfast Plus connection or even Ultrafast to fulfil your online needs. Speeds can range from a mere 2Mbps in sparsely populated areas to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) in cities. Different types of broadband give you different speeds; ADSL, Fibre and Cable are the most common types of broadband.
To help you understand your broadband speed needs better, we recommend checking out our guide on what is a good broadband speed. It offers valuable insights to assist you in making informed decisions about your internet connection.

You can check your existing broadband speed easily with Ofcom’s speed checker. You can also check what speeds are available in your area with our broadband checker, so you can find an internet speed and package right for your home. 

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Customer service

No matter who you choose to provide your broadband, it's very likely that you will need to speak to customer services during your contract period, so the quality of care and expertise is very important.
A strong trust signal is to check the verified customer reviews and ratings of the customer service provided with a broadband package. You can see Your Co-op Broadband's award-winning customer service feedback from verified Feefo reviewers. 

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Are you on a limited contract?

Nowadays, most providers offer unlimited contracts, for a very good price, meaning there is no need to worry about a limited contract with any kind of cap. So even if you’re a one-man-band and use the internet on a sporadic basis, unlimited broadband is not worth ruling out as a package deal including line rental and mobile, and might work out cheaper for you overall than your current capped package.

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Contract term

In most cases, contracts are offered as 12, 18 and 24-month contracts, giving you the choice of committing to a short or longer-term package. 24-month broadband contracts typically cost less each month when compared to a 12 or 18-month contract though it may be more costly to leave your service early.

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Before deciding which broadband speed you would like for your home, it's important to check what's currently available to you. By using our Broadband postcode checker, you can see the broadband speeds and packages that can be seamlessly fitted to your home, saving you time and preventing any disappointment for deals that aren't currently possible. 

Animated woman checking her packages

Are you interested in a broadband package bundle?

When it comes to package bundles it’s best to do your research and compare deals that include everything you want on your list. Life would be easier if one provider offered everything, however, this isn’t always the case as different companies have different partnerships and offerings and don't always cater to budgets efficiently.

Customer service is one of the most important elements of your package bundle, after the speeds and price, as it will ultimately determine the ease and length of time you spend trying to sort out any issues that could arise during your contract. Checking verified customer reviews is a must when considering switching broadband provider.
Other things to consider about your new potential broadband include: are they an ethical company? Do they have any sustainability credentials and if so, do they provide proof points? A too-good-to-be-true deal might just mean a lack of customer care, and if things ever go wrong, you need a company that is reliable and able to help.

Different types of Broadband


ADSL Broadband uses the existing BT phone lines to provide an internet service. ADSL stands for ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line’ and despite the majority of this service retiring in 2025, it is still commonly used across the UK. ADSL broadband works by carrying signals across lines in the street, that are made up of copper wires and exchange a series of digital messages which translate the information you receive.

Fibre Broadband

Fibre broadband is a future-proof high-speed internet connection that uses fibre optic cables. Fibre cables transfer data quicker than standard copper cables used in ADSL; meaning it’s a great choice if you regularly enjoy streaming, scrolling or work from home. 

There are two types of fibre broadband connection: FTTC and FTTP.

Cable Broadband

Cable broadband uses the same infrastructure as cable television to provide an internet connection to a home. Cable uses mostly fibre-optic cables to pass digital signals and optical material in the wires provides a secure connection for the signal, resulting in greater reliability and minimal distortion. For the last mile between your local telephone exchange and your home, the cable connection is carried in coaxial cable while fibre optic travels through copper wires.

ASDL will soon be retired as part of the Big Switch Off, so please ensure that you switch to a fibre broadband service to keep your home Wi-Fi working.


How long does it take to switch broadband providers?

Switching broadband takes around 2 weeks for the majority of internet providers, including Your Co-op. However, it is usually dependent on the availability of engineers in your area. Some providers take 1-6 weeks until the internet is up and running.

The length of time it takes to switch broadband also depends on your circumstances. If you’re upgrading from cable then a new line might need to be installed and this can take slightly longer than simply switching between cable providers. 

What happens when you switch internet providers?

The process is simple. Once you’ve signed up with a new internet provider you will be given a connection date. On that date, your service will switch across and you can plug in your new router.

Am I likely to lose service during the switchover?

If we are transferring your existing line across to us, there will be a period of downtime on the day whilst some works are carried out at the exchange to swap you onto our network. This is usually minimal, but can be up until midnight on the date that we provide.

If you are transferring your existing line across to a new provider, there may be some downtime during installation. Here at The Phone Coop, there is normally a short period of downtime on the same day whilst some works are carried out at the exchange to swap you onto our network.

Will I have to change my email address?

If your ISP is also your email provider you may need to find out what will happen to any email addresses you have associated with your account. When it comes to email addresses, you might be able to keep it if your internet service provider (ISP) allows it (for a cost). Unfortunately, some providers will delete it. In this case, it’s worth finding out what the process is with your existing provider. There is no need to worry, you will be given an allotted amount of time to access your emails and save anything important before the cancellation period ends. You can also create a new email account for free with Outlook or Gmail and this takes no time at all. 

Can I switch while I’m still in a broadband contract?

You will have to cancel your broadband, however, this can be done entirely by your new provider. Once you have chosen a new deal and followed through with the set-up, your new provider will deal with your old one, initiating the cancellation period. In most cases, this will be 30 days notice, but this is worth checking.

Some providers are an exception to this rule. If you are an existing customer of Virgin then you will have to contact both your new and old provider to arrange the switch.

How easy is it to change your broadband provider?

Changing your broadband provider is easy. Most of the switching is dealt with by your new provider, so all you need to do is decide which deal is the best fit for you.

Compare our latest broadband deals

Will an engineer have to visit my home?

In some instances, your service provider might not be able to transfer your existing line. If this happens, they may have to arrange for an Openreach engineer to come to your home to fit a new socket. At The Phone Coop this visit is arranged with plenty of notice and if the time doesn’t suit you, you can always change the date.