Switching broadband providers

Changing from one broadband provider to another isn't too complicated, but you can make sure the process is as fast and smooth as possible by following our tips.

Dial-up to ADSL

It's possible you may be able to keep your dial-up service (although once you are connected to a broadband service you won't want to use it!), but your new ISP may need you to cancel your dial-up plan before they can connect you up. Your new ISP will tell you if this is the case.

ADSL to ADSL

If you already have an ADSL1 or ADSL2+ broadband connection and you are switching to a different ADSL provider because you are after a better deal, the first thing to do is shop around. Whether speed, data, price or customer service is most important to you, there will be a plan that suits your needs.

You can use Compare Broadband's comparison tools to help you find the best deal. We can show you your current speed with our speed tester, find out if ADSL is available in your area with our availability checker and help you understand how much data you need with our usage checker. Once you know what you are looking for, use our comparison tool to find the best deals.

In Australia, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have agreed to allow their customers to transfer to another provider quickly and at a low cost. This is known as a churn or rapid transfer.

When you have chosen your new ISP, you now need to find out if you can churn, and if so, what the cost is. You should also check whether you will have to pay disconnection or cancellation fees to your current provider.

It's very important at this stage not to disconnect anything. If a churn is available, you won't have to lift a finger. Your new ISP will speak to your current broadband provider and disconnect the service for you. There will be a short time during the changeover when you will have no access to the internet, but this should only be around two to five hours.

When the transfer is completed, it is a good idea to get in touch with your former provider to find out if there are any outstanding bills and the account has been closed.

If you are transferring your home phone service, you can port over your number in most cases. It may be a few days before this process can be completed.

What if a churn isn't available?

If you have a Telstra home phone service and an ADSL2+ internet service from another provider, and you want to transfer both services to one new ISP, you may have to cancel your ADSL2+ service before the new connection can be made. Your new ISP will tell you if this is the case.

When you need to cancel a service yourself, it's important to wait until the initial line check has been performed. Otherwise, you may find out too late your chosen provider won't be able to supply the connection.

Make sure you know how long you will be without a broadband connection, as a new installation can take a few weeks rather than a few hours.

Home phone service to Naked broadband

If you are thinking of cancelling your home phone service to take advantage of Naked broadband, don't. Most naked broadband providers need an active line – which means you need to be paying line rental – before they can start the process of connecting your home. However, there are some ISPs who can set up a Naked DSL connection from an inactive line.

Once you have signed up with a Naked broadband plan, the ISP will disconnect your home phone service for you and you will be left with a broadband plan without having to pay any line rental.

Cable broadband to ADSL/ADSL to cable broadband

As these are two completely different types of broadband, you will need to cancel the service you are leaving on your own. You can cancel your cable broadband or ADSL connection at any point, as one will not affect the other. This way you won’t have to go without the internet at all.

ADSL to mobile broadband/mobile broadband to ADSL

These broadband connections are different, as mobile broadband uses the mobile phone towers and ADSL uses copper landline telephone wires. You can have both services running at the same time, using your ADSL connection at home and your mobile broadband connection when travelling.

Mobile broadband to mobile broadband

If you are switching mobile broadband providers, you may be able to use the existing USB modem. However, some providers lock the modem to their own network. The best way to find out is to give your existing provider a call and ask. It it's not locked, you will be able to use it with another provider, but you will need to reconfigure it for the new carrier.