NewsHow does a Broadband switch work in the UK?
How does a Broadband switch work in the UK?

How does a Broadband switch work in the UK?

Whether you’re looking to save a few pounds or your internet speed is stuck at a snail’s pace, you might be wondering ‘how can I switch to a better Broadband deal?’

Fear not. Below is a short guide on how switching your Broadband provider works in the UK, and why you might like to do so.

Our Broadband landscape

Broadband landscape
Like any major consumer market, the Broadband market in the UK is complex, with many players, big and small. The four largest telecommunications providers (we’ll call them the ‘Big 4’) are:

  1. British Telecommunications (you may know them as BT). BT holds the UK’s largest market share, with 9.2 million people in the UK signed up.
  2. Sky is the second largest, with 6.2 million customers.
  3. Virgin media broadband is available to 52% of homes in the UK, with 5.6 million subscribers.
  4. TalkTalk is the smallest of the ‘Big 4’ with 2.8 million customers.

The next important thing to understand when it comes to the UK Broadband landscape is which providers are on which network. Find a handy guide in table form below:





BT, Sky Broadband,* TalkTalk,* Cuckoo, EE, Giganet, Direct Save Telecom, Now Broadband, John Lewis Broadband, Shell Energy Broadband, Vodafone, Zen, Plusnet, iTalk, Utility Warehouse
Virgin Media Virgin Media
CityFibre TalkTalk, Vodafone, Giganet, Zen
Community Fibre

Community Fibre, Box Broadband


Local ISPs

Hyperoptic Hyperoptic

Source: IPSOS -  *Sky and TalkTalk both offering some services in areas where they do not have LLU networks by utilising Openreach wholesale products,

So why the table? Because switching is much easier if you are switching between providers on the same network. 

Say you’re with Plusnet and you’re switching to Sky - because both are on the Openreach network, you’ll just have to tell Sky you want to join, and they’ll contact Plusnet for you. You don’t have to lift another finger!

However, if you want to switch from Plusnet to Virgin Media, the process is more of a challenge. You’ll need to contact both providers. After you’ve arranged your installation date, make sure you arrange the Plusnet cancellation to stop shortly afterwards, so you don’t lose service.

That being said, either way it’s very easy.

Thinking of switching? Check out our exclusive group-discounted Broadband offer here.

Why switch?

There’s a number of reasons why you may want to switch your Broadband provider. Your family might have outgrown your speed tier, you may be looking for more data, or maybe you’re just looking for a cheaper deal.

According to Ofcom research, 20 million Broadband customers are currently out of their initial contract period, which means many are paying much more than they need.

If you haven’t switched to a new deal by the end of your contract, you’re almost certainly paying too much. This is because Broadband providers often raise their prices once the initial contract ends.

Whether you’ve outgrown your data cap, speed tier or wallet, it’s important to know that switching to a cheaper deal really isn’t that difficult. In fact, it’s easy!

How does switching work?

Switching is most likely easier than you think. In fact, it’s seamless in most cases! Even better, providers can do almost everything for you, including cancelling your current contract.

Here’s 3 simple steps for an easy Broadband switch:

  1. Shop around. Compare your Broadband deal to what’s in the market - after all, you might find it’s as good as any other! A great place to start is right here. We’ve got an exclusive off-market deal for members which may be better value.
  2. Once you’ve shopped around and made your decision, it’s time to switch! Simply choose the deal you want and your new provider will cancel your contract.(PLEASE NOTE: There is a caveat to this - if you’re switching to a different network (the most common is Virgin Media’s network), you have to contact both providers & organise the switch yourself.)
  3. You’re done! If you change your mind, you can still cancel within 14 days of the start of your new contract.

How One Big Switch can help

Here at One Big Switch, we’re switching specialists. We’ve dedicated ourselves to unlocking special off-market deals for our members.

What does that mean? It means we’ve got a special deal for you! If you’re looking for cheaper Broadband, you might have come to the right place. Find out here with our special offer.

Originally posted on .

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