Changing your broadband provider
One of the question's we get asked as broadband providers is how can I change broadband providers in my area?.
Switching broadband providers is a great way of saving money.
Before switching broadband providers, ensure that you're outside your minimum contract period with your current provider, otherwise you may have to pay a hefty broadband cancellation fee.
Switching between ADSL broadband providers in my area
The process of switching broadband providers is similar to switching mobile phone providers.
If you are switching to and from ADSL broadband (broadband via a BT phone line), you'll need to switch broadband provider using the MAC process. MAC stands for migration authorisation code, and is a unique code that identifies a particular broadband line.
You will need to contact your current broadband supplier and ask them to provide you with a "MAC" number.
Your broadband provider must provider a MAC on request and should send you the MAC within five working days. Your broadband MAC is valid for 30 days from the date it’s issued.
Then search for the best deal on broadbandproviders.co.uk by entering your postcode into the broadband comparison tool featured on our homepage to view a list of broadband providers available in your area.
Select the best package for you and complete the sign up process, entering the "MAC" number and other personal details as requested.
Your new provider should then process your request and give you a transfer date.
If you are having problems switching between broadband providers because of difficulties obtaining a MAC from your existing broadband supplier, take a look at Ofcom's advice on how to complain.
Switching to or from cable broadband providers in my area
Cable broadband provider Virgin Media does not use the MAC broadband switching process.
If you are switching your broadband service to or from Virgin Media, you simply cancel your existing broadband service and sign up to your new broadband service. You may need to have a new broadband line installed.
If you want, you can have an ADSL broadband service (via a BT line) and a cable broadband service operating at the same time, though this will obviously double your broadband costs.
Switching your phone and broadband services simultaneously
If you're switching to or from a provider that offers phone and broadband services bundled together, you may not be able to use the MAC broadband switching process for technical reasons.
However, under Ofcom's switching regulations, phone and broadband bundle providers are still required to make the switch as easy for you as possible.
You can find detailed advice on the various broadband and phone switching processes on Ofcom's website. Each process aims for the minimum possible disruption, though there is a chance you may experience some loss of service.
You will need to ask your new supplier which broadband and phone switching process to use and how long the switch will take.