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Migration and Home Mover FAQ

How quickly should I get my Migration Authorisation Code (MAC)?

The MAC system is defunct as of 20th June 2015, while any migrations underway on that date will continue any new migrations will use a new Gaining Provider Led process.

If you are migrating to cable or a FTTP solution then a cease and provide solution may be needed but the onus is on your new provider to inform you and handle the switching.

How do I know if I need a MAC to migrate?

After 20th June 2015 the MAC migration system is no longer in use. The system has been replaced with a Gaining Provider Led system and a 10 day notification period when you will get a letter, which if you have not authorised a migration you should follow the instructions to cancel the migration.

I think I am on an unbundled connection, can I get a MAC?

The answer is easy, with the new migration rules the way you migrate is identical no matter whether on a full or shared LLU service. The two types of unbundling are defined as:

Some broadband providers purchase wholesale services from companies such as C&W or Tiscali (there are others), and this means even though the people you pay your broadband bill to do not have their own hardware in the exchange your line may be unbundled. One example of a provider using this method is Eclipse who utilise shared unbundling via Tiscali Wholesale.

I want to move to TalkTalk or Sky, but they say I don't need a MAC, is that correct?

Yes, this was the case even before the 20th June, as full LLU migrations were done without a MAC. The recent changes have unified migrations to adopt this simpler solution.

I have my telephone line rental with Sky and use their broadband, is this a fully unbundled service?

Sky mainly only use a fully unbundled service at this time. There are some legacy customers on a WLR based service for the phone line, but this is a small percentage. If you are trying to switch your phone or broadband your new provider should check and advice accordingly.

My broadband provider is asking whether I'd like to cease my broadband connection when I ask about migrating, what do I do?

The broadband provider should avoid ceasing a broadband line at all costs, and suggesting this method rather than a migration is not the best practice and can cause longer gaps in service.

A cease order is usually only needed if moving to a different infrastructure platform like FTTP or cable.

I have telephone and broadband services with the same provider, and want to move them both to someone else, how do I do this?

Telephone and broadband from the same provider has become very common as a way of saving money, the new migration system should support moving both systems to different providers.

Effectively you will have two different gaining providers and as this is likely to be a less common scenario the scope for problems is higher.

I am moving out of my home and want broadband as soon as possible in my new home, what do I do?

The first thing to decide is whether you want to use your existing broadband provider at your new home. If you do not then what you should do is tell your old provider to cease your broadband by the date you are due to move out, and then order broadband from new at the new property. If you do the alternative of moving your old provider to the new home and them migrating you may find yourself stuck in a lengthy contract, and the probability of it going wrong are much greater.

The process for ordering broadband and a telephone line at a new home (this process applies even if the new home does not have an active telephone line) has been simplified and the new provider should handle all the complexity on your behalf.

If moving into a totally new build or a flat conversion the new anti-slamming measures introduced in June 2015 may cause some problems until the address and postcode have fully filtered down from the master Post Office databases to the various provider databases.

I have been given my new telephone number, but the availability checkers say my broadband will be very slow?

Until a telephone number is actively in your name at an address it will not appear in any of the speed estimator databases.

If there is an active telephone line in a property, you can use that number to obtain a speed estimate, or if the existing occupant has broadband, ask them what speed their broadband modem connects at.

You can get an idea of the likely speed by looking at the speed others get via the thinkbroadband availability checker or doing a full address lookup on the numerous ISP checkers.

I have moved home and the telephone is all in my name, but the online checkers say I cannot have broadband?

If the previous resident had broadband then do not panic, upon taking over a telephone line it can take the online checkers a few days to update.

Broadband providers should still be able to place an order if you explain the situation.

The online checkers say a very slow speed is available, but the previous resident got a lot faster?

The online checkers take time to update, sometimes a week or more when the person whose name the telephone line is in has changed. This can result in slow speeds being estimated on the online checkers.

If you can find out from the previous resident what their actual broadband speed was, you should be able to achieve the same.

The online speed estimators where you put in your telephone number or postcode do nothing to actually limit your broadband speeds. If the checker is wrong your broadband modem will still negotiate the best speed possible for the parameters that have been set.

My broadband provider is saying I need to pay them money before I can migrate away, can they do this?

The short answer NO. A provider should not block a migration just because you owe them money. If you migrate while during your minimum contract term any costs to settle the contract should be detailed in your notification letter.

If you have left a provider and dispute the charges they say you owe them, take a read of our guide to resolving problems.

I have moved, but my provider is telling me that someone is camped on my line, what do I do?

The phrase 'camped on the line' is used to describe a situation, where you have moved into a property and took over the telephone line, but the old broadband is still active.

Your broadband provider should be able to force a take-over of a line once various checks have taken place to confirm the line details are correct. The checks are in place to avoid a mis-typed address causing another broadband line to be ceased.

How do I find out which broadband provider the previous resident was with?

Prior to 2008 you would have to chase the old broadband provider yourself, or contact the TAGS helpline directly. In 2008 the systems have altered to make things simpler, and now it is the job of your new broadband provider to chase this situation up, and remove the old broadband service.

I want to change my telephone line rental provider, will this affect my broadband?

Switching the company who you pay your telephone line rental to will not affect the broadband, provided that the broadband and telephone are not part of a fully unbundled service (e.g. TalkTalk, Sky and some TalkTalk resellers). For some providers like BT and PlusNet while the line is not fully unbundled the phone and broadband are sold as part of a package so moving one element may impact you.

To move line rental provider, simply contact the new provider. The new provider should inform your old provider of your intention to move service, but you will get a letter as part of a system to avoid your services being slammed. One note of caution, if this new company also sells telephone and broadband bundles make it clear that you DO NOT want their broadband.

I am moving into a home with no telephone line, and TalkTalk say I have to call BT to get a line installed, won't this be expensive?

Since the creation of Openreach in 2006 all providers have had the same options for installing new lines.

If a provider is saying you need to order a phone line from BT first, then this is the incorrect thing to do, since once you are connected by BT you will be in a minimum term contract for the telephone line. TalkTalk, Sky and the other bundle operators usually are happy to order the telephone line install for, make sure you know the price charged before committing though.

I want to switch from TalkTalk to Sky?

The changes to the migration system that took effect on 20th June 2015, mean that all you need to do is contact your chosen new provider and they will handle notifying your old provider.

I have super-fast broadband using Fibre to the Cabinet from Openreach, how do I change providers?

The migration for FTTC is identical to that used for ADSL2+, just contact your chosen new provider and they will get in touch with your old provider.

The old provider will send you a letter detailing the cost of leaving, e.g. 30 day notice period and what services are affected by the move.

How do I move my telephone line billing and my FTTC at the same time?

The procedures are pretty much the same as with ADSL and ADSL2+ services with Ofcom unifying the various systems on 20th June 2015 after three years of work.

For a standard migration all you need to do now is to contact your chosen new provider who will handle the change over and let your old provider know.

If your old provider contacts you with a retention deal this is actually breaking the new migration rules.

My old provider is pestering me with offers to stay, but I just want to migrate away?

The new Ofcom rules on 20th June 2015 mean that existing providers MUST NOT make any retention offers once you've agreed to migrate to a different provider.

The best course of action is to ignore the offers and report the provider to Ofcom who will act once a large enough body of evidence has built up.

I am thinking of moving providers, but would be happy to stay if I got a cheaper price from my existing provider, what can I do?

With the latest set of migration rules, once you start a migration the old provider should not pester. If you want to try and negotiate a better deal then you MUST contact the old provider yourself and see if they can make a better offer.

Remember retention deals often involve a new minimum term that may be anything from 12 months to 24 months.