How to Switch Broadband Providers

Broadband Providers
Poor speed, customer support, high prices and unsatisfactory service are some reasons for switching broadband providers. Changing ISPs can help you save money and get better service. Many ISPs also offer bundled packages for cable/internet/telephone that can help you save even more money.
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Whatever your reasons for switching broadband providers, here's how to go about it:


Most people don't even consider it, but loyal, long-standing customers can often negotiate a better deal with their current ISP. Before you consider switching services, ask your current ISP for a better deal, clearly stating your dissatisfaction with their service and your desire to switch providers. In the current competitive broadband market, loyal customers are few and far in-between. Don't be surprised if your ISP offers you a significantly reduced price and better packages just to retain you as a customer.
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If the ISP is unwilling to give any leeway, you can go ahead with switching providers.

Know your MAC

Each internet user has a specific Migration Authorisation Code (MAC). This MAC code is required when switching broadband providers. Before you can change providers, you'll have to ask your current ISP for your MAC code.

Get in touch with your ISPs customer service department and request the MAC code. Customer service reps are usually reluctant to give out the MAC code and might try to entice you to stay with package deals and lower prices. Understand that ISPs are required by law to issue the MAC code upon request. If the customer service rep is still reluctant, don't hesitate to assert what is essentially your legal right.
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Once you have the MAC code, you can initiate the actual switching process.

Make the switch

After you've zeroed in on the broadband provider of your choice, it is time to make the actual switch.

Don't cancel your current broadband service (which will leave you without internet access). Instead, sign up with your new broadband provider and give them the MAC code. The provider will then work with your previous ISP to make the switch. This shouldn't take longer than a week depending in the provider. If you're switching from fibre optic to ADSL or vice-versa, it might take longer because of the higher infrastructure costs.

Once the new connection is installed, you can cancel your old broadband account.
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Caveats: Contracts & Help
A few things to keep in mind before changing broadband providers:

1. Most ISPs require you to sign a service contract, typically for 12 to 18 months. If you're trying to switch broadband providers before the contract termination date, you may have to incur a cancellation fee. While the Migration Code of Practice states that ISPs must facilitate migration to another provider, you might still be found to be in breach of your contract if you decide to shift before the term period is over.

2. If the cancellation fee amount is exorbitantly high, you can seek professional help, especially if you feel the ISP hasn't fulfilled its service agreement.

3. You can get in touch with the Ombudsman Services: Communications department if you're having trouble switching providers. Alternatively, you can contact Ofcom, which is an independent internet regulator.

Find a new ISP

Competition in the broadband market is intense with dozens of providers fighting for each customer. Compare plans offered by different providers, such as 
broadband from Sky and find a deal that suits your budget and speed/bandwidth requirements.