How to switch broadband providers

Looking to change internet providers? Here are 5 simple steps to make it easier.

The competitive nature of the broadband market means there’s always an opportunity to jump on to a plan that is not only cheaper but offers faster speeds and more data per month.

Switching to another Internet Service Provider (ISP) might seem like a daunting process, but it really isn’t.

This guide is designed to take the confusion out of the process and also considers other aspects such as keeping your existing phone number and email addresses or ensuring that you don’t temporarily lose your Internet connection during the transition. It also takes into account those who find themselves needing to switch from cable or ADSL to an NBN connection.

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Before you leave

First, ensure that you are out of contract with your existing ISP to avoid fees. Even if you’re on a month-to-month plan, be aware that these usually come with a 30 days' notice before you can cancel.

Step 1: Compare plans

If you haven’t yet decided on an ISP to switch to, have a look at our broadband plan comparison tool which compares over 1,600 plans from more than 50 different providers so you can find the best plan for your needs.

Alternatively, check out our picks for the best NBN plans currently on offer which we update every month.

It's important to remember that some ISPs charge a setup fee unless you agree to a long-term contract so make sure you take that into account when doing the maths.

Once you’ve decided on a plan, check with the provider in question to ensure they can provide a broadband service at your home address.

Step 2: Keeping your email and phone number

If you’ve been with your ISP for a long time, you might have an email service tied to your provider. If this is true, you should transfer your current emails and contacts across to a third-party generic email service such as Gmail or Outlook before you switch, otherwise you might lose your emails and contact information.

Similarly, if you have a landline number that you want to bring across, be sure to notify your new provider that you wish to port your number over before switching. Often, the new number will be a voice over IP (VOIP) service rather than a traditional landline, which is often the case when switching from ADSL to an NBN connection.

Be aware that you will need to keep the landline active until the port process has been completed after which the old landline and associated rental fee charges will cease.

Step 3: Avoid downtime and settle old accounts

According to NBN Co, the downtime for customers transferring between ISPs using the service transfer process is, on average, less than 30 minutes. Essentially the ISP submits a single order and NBN manages the disconnection and connection activities. This applies to all NBN connections including fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node/basement (FTTN/B), HFC and wireless.

However, transferring from an ADSL service to an NBN connection will take much more time as this will require a technician to come out to your premises. That doesn’t mean you will need to go offline while you’re waiting, though, as you can keep your existing service running up until your appointment date. Your new service provider will arrange the appointment for you and the billing period will start from the day they connect you. However, you will need to cancel the old service yourself.

Ideally you want to time the switch towards the end of your billing cycle, otherwise, you might be liable to pay an extra month’s worth of service from your old ISP.

Step 4: Checking your equipment

Most modems are ISP agnostic, which means that they can work with any provider as long as you're not changing your connection technology (e.g. from ADSL to NBN) - in which case you might need to upgrade.

It's best to check with your modem manufacturer directly to avoid any compatibility issues down the road. ISPs generally bundle in a new modem with select plans so be sure to check with the service provider if this is something that they can include before making a trip to the store.

If you'd rather purchase a modem separately, we recommend reading our comparison of 26 top NBN routers to find one that suits your needs.

Depending on how the ISP is set up in your connectivity service area (CSA), you might be required to enter login credentials within the modem itself, but your ISP will advise if this is required or if there are any other settings within the modem that will need to be changed. These changes should be accompanied by a reboot of the modem to ensure that it switches over to your new ISP correctly.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LanaMay 14, 2019

    How I want to use a different internet provider with my iiNet modem but only has iiNet or sister companies in the set up wizard. How else do I configure please?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiMay 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Lana,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      The set up wizard will not allow you to choose other providers aside from iiNet and its sister company. You may need to do manual configuration. You have to contact your incoming NBN provider to assist you with manual configuration of your iiNet modem that will match with their settings.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,

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