How to find the best broadband deals

Moving home is the perfect time to review any existing broadband set up you have or to shop around for the best deal if you're getting set up for the first time.

And as first-time homebuyer Meurig Golding, 24, discovered, it's a good idea to get it set up as early as possible in the move.

Meurig and his fiancĂ©e Maria, 32, who both work at Admiral, recently bought a home together in Cardiff Bay after renting for six months but he quickly discovered how inconvenient not having broadband was.

"Sort out the internet early!" said Meurig. "We didn't get internet for the first few weeks so we couldn't buy any furniture as it's quite difficult trying to look at things on your phone!"

But with so many companies vying for your business, how do you make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck?

We spoke to broadband expert Ewan Taylor-Gibson, who works at uSwitch.com, for some helpful advice.

"It's worth shopping around to make sure you're not overpaying, as prices often increase at the end of a broadband contract and switching to a new provider could be worth up to £157*. Do your research and think about what's most important to you when it comes to broadband, home phone and even TV, before deciding on a new package.

"For example, are you happy with the speed of your broadband connection or are you looking for something faster? If so, double check if you can get fibre broadband in your area and then shop around to see which providers offer the best deals. If you're considering more than just broadband, it's worth looking at a bundle with one provider as you can make significant savings.

"If you're moving house before you reach the end of your minimum contract length, and want to take your existing broadband package with you, speak to your provider and see what they can do. In some unusual circumstances you might not be able to take your existing deal to your new property, so could be liable for an early termination charge. The same applies if you want to switch to another provider, and need to cancel before you've finished your broadband contract.

Avoid termination fees

"To avoid being hit by termination charges when you move, make sure you check your contract terms and conditions when signing up to a new provider, paying particular attention to the length of the contract. If you think you might need to cancel before you reach the full contract length - for example if you are planning to move house - also check for the supplier's early termination fee and notice period. It's also worth exploring providers like Direct Save Telecom who offer one month contracts, which means you don't get locked in for months on end.

"If you decide to switch, if it's from one Openreach broadband provider to another (so if you are with BT, Sky, TalkTalk, EE or Plusnet, for example) then you can simply contact the new provider and they'll organise the switch for you. If you're moving to or from Virgin Media, you will need to contact both the new and old provider.

"Since most broadband packages require you to take out a home phone, if you can afford to pay for your line rental for the whole year upfront then opting for a line rental saver option is an easy way to save some extra pennies and make sure you aren't caught out by any mid-year landline price rises."

So there you have it - some excellent advice from USwitch's broadband expert. Here's a quick reference for Ewan's advice:

  • Shop around
  • Check phone line, TV and broadband bundle options
  • Check that you can transfer existing broadband if you move home
  • Read terms and conditions to avoid termination fees
  • Could a short-term contract be better for your needs?
  • Keep line rental costs down by paying upfront rather than monthly, if you can afford to

* http://www.uswitch.com/faqs/savings-messages/

Admiral's top tip: Make sure you get your internet set up as early as possible - it'll make buying all your new home purchases a whole lot easier!

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