Switch Provider & Save


If you have been with your broadband provider for a while, there is a fair chance that you are spending more than you need to. We explain how to save money on broadband by describing how you can easily switch provider. With the new rules introduced by Ofcom in February 2007, it’s never been easier to switch and save.

Switch broadband. Save money


Why You Should Switch

Firstly, switching is usually hassle free and at no cost to you.

There are lots of good reasons to switch. For example:

  • It’s likely that you could save anything up to £200 and possibly get a faster connection with more download allowance.
  • You don’t need to put up with poor service. Vote with your feet and find a provider that can offer a better service. For help, check our comprehensive broadband reviews, ratings, listings and comparisons.

Simply follow the steps below for a quick and painless switch.

Who Can Switch Provider?

Most customers that receive broadband through their telephone lines are generally able to switch provider easily and at no cost. It is not currently possible to easily switch from cable supplied broadband services.

Switching providers will particularly appeal to customers approaching the end or their contract term for broadband (usually 12 months). Switching broadband provider before your contact term is up can result in early termination fees.

Switching broadband provider is easy

Now Easier Than Ever

Until fairly recently, switching broadband providers could be difficult. However, in February 2007, new rules introduced by Ofcom made it a lot easier to move broadband provider. The new rules are that (on your request):

  • A broadband provider must provide a MAC Code and may not charge for it.
  • The code must be supplied within five days.

Ofcom is serious about enforcing the new rules. Any provider found in breach of the rules can be fined up to 10% of its annual turnover.

For more information on MAC Codes and their significance, please read on.

About Switching

MAC Codes

Migration Authorisation Codes (MAC) are provided by your existing broadband provider. You need to ask for your MAC code if you would like to switch to another provider. Once you have the code, you can then switch provider by following a few simple steps. (See below)

How Long It Takes (To Get a MAC)

It should take no longer than five days for your provider to supply you with a MAC.

How Long It Takes (For the Switch)

After placing an order with your new provider and supplying the MAC to them, it should take around a week to switch.

Service Interruption

If you change provider using MAC codes, your broadband service will be switched over with no interruption to service.

If you are unable to use/obtain MAC codes, you will need to cancel your existing service before signing up to a new one. Unfortunately, this can be a lengthy process as a “marker” can exist on your phone line for up to two weeks after your old broadband service has stopped. This “marker” will need to clear before you can order broadband from your new provider. If you include the week or so for your new provider to supply the new connection, you could possibly be without broadband for between 3 to 4 weeks.

How to Switch

Here are some easy to follow steps to help you switch provider:

  • Contact your existing broadband provider to request your MAC code.
  • Save time finding your best broadband deal by using our research tools.
  • Sign up to your new broadband service. Give them your MAC Code during the sign up process. Most providers will let you do this online as part of the ordering process.

That’s all there is to it. You could now be saving up to £200 per year on broadband.

It’s also worth putting a note in your diary for next year to spend some time reviewing your broadband deal. The chances are that prices will have fallen again but to take advantage of the new lower prices, you may need to switch again.

Other FAQ’s

Happy after switching provider
Q.) I have broadband by cable. Can I switch?
A.) No. The MAC process is geared for switching broadband on BT type phone lines. To take advantage of easy switching, you will need a BT (or similar) type line.
Q.) Can I switch my satellite broadband service?
A.) No. Only BT type services can be easily switched.
Q.) What if my broadband provider won’t supply a MAC code?
A.) Under Ofcom rules from February 2007, providers are required to provide these. We would suggest that you remind your provider of these obligations. If you get no joy, we suggest that you contact Ofcom direct.
Q.) My provider wants to charge a fee for my MAC code. Is this ok?
A.) No. Under Ofcom rules (Feb 2007), providers are not allowed to charge a fee for MAC codes.
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