• Waiting times depend upon the nature of the set-up
  • Moving house can take the longest - up to 20 working days
  • Mobile broadband an easy solution for getting internet in a hurry

Much of the trouble in finding a broadband connection seems to be about finding a provider that will service your area. Once you've found one, though, a new difficulty arises – just how long will it be until your internet connection is live?

We envisage broadband connections as an instantaneous beam of light travelling down the information superhighway. (90s infomercials have a lot to answer for.) Often, we presume that the actual process of connecting to that internet will be just as instantaneous, and it can be a frustrating process trying to work out how long you'll be without an internet connection. Here, we break down for you the typical downtimes.

I'm moving house

Setting up broadband in a new house can be a stressful enterprise; that's why we've already written a guide to getting the internet while moving.

Moving truck

The good news: if the previous occupants have left behind their internet connection, that's great! You might not need to be without broadband for as long. In this case, it will usually take up to one week before your new service is live.

The bad news: the previous occupants of the house will have disconnected their internet when they move out, which means you have to set up a whole new connection. This is not "churning". That means that generally, the wait time is ten to twenty working days, and that's industry standard.

There is always a chance that you might get lucky, depending upon what provider you sign up with and what the equipment in your area is like, but generally, you must allow for those ten working days. It may be tempting to sign up for your internet before you move house, but we generally advise against this. You could run the risk of either disabling the current occupant's phone and internet, or not being able to give the provider access to the property if they need to be able to go inside for any reason. We recommend signing up with the provider you have chosen three to four days before you move into the new property.

Note that even if a provider advertises fast churning times, this does not apply if you're moving to an entirely new property. 

If you feel like you'll be helpless without a broadband connection, you could always find yourself a cheap mobile broadband solution to use for the time before you can get your house connected. Mobile broadband should not be taken as a substitution for a fixed-line connection, but as an interim solution, which you may find it quite useful.

You'll want to make sure that you're picking a plan that has no contract, and a reasonably cheap set-up. It's rare that you'll find something within the budget that's more than 1-2GBs, but if you're only using it to check emails and other urgent matters while you wait for your fixed-line connection to activate, it should be fine. 

Getting a dongle to keep in a drawer on the off chance you'll need it one day can be a great idea, and can definitely keep down frustration around having to wait for your internet connection.

I already have an NBN plan, but want to change to another provider

Most providers have agreements with each other now that include a fast transfer rate. That means that when you switch from one provider to another, they will conduct the transfer as quickly as possible.

The standard downtime is around four working days, but it could be as quick as two. After that, you can contact your provider's tech support to find out what's going on. 




Other providers, though, like Dodo, may fall back on the same ten-twenty working days before you have access to the internet.

That's why it's important that you confirm with your provider how long you should expect to be without internet when you're churning. It differs depending upon the provider you're signing up with, the provider you're moving from, and indeed the equipment necessary.

I want mobile broadband

Mobile broadband comes with its own host of drawbacks – but the speed of the connection isn't one of them.

Click here for the best mobile broadband plans.

Basically, the wait time for your mobile broadband doesn't come down to the provider – it's down to your local post office. Whenever you get it, you can just plug it in, in some cases quickly register it, and go! It's a great last-minute resource for an internet connection.

Call us at Compare Broadband if you have any further questions or need help picking a plan on 1300 106 571.