Switching broadband providers
Switching is quick and easy, so why not see if there’s a new deal that could suit you?
Broadband providers in Ireland
There are many broadband providers operating in Ireland. The main ones, who operate nationally, are:
- Pure Telecom
- Virgin Media
Broadband-only deal of the month
This plan from Virgin Media offers fibre broadband with speeds of up to 240Mbps.
It comes with:
- unlimited broadband usage allowance, and
- the Virgin Media Hub, a new modem with an additional antenna for even better Wi-Fi.
Broadband and phone deal of the month
If you’d like to include your phone with your broadband plan, there are lots of broadband and phone bundles on the market now.
One of the best broadband and phone deals is this bundle from eir. It comes with unlimited broadband with speeds up to 100Mb, and unlimited anytime calls to Irish landlines.
On top of this, all eir broadband plans come with access to the eir sport pack - including eir sport 1 & 2, 4 BT Sport channels and Box Nation - absolutely FREE, so it’s a great offer for sports fans.
Triple-play deal of the month
Many people now rely on streaming services when it comes to watching TV shows or movies. However, there are plenty of us that still want access to great content, along with features like on-demand TV, the ability to pause, rewind, and record, and access to content on the move.
Sky TV is generally considered best-in-class, so if that sounds appealing, this plan from Sky could work well for you. It comes with:
- Unlimited broadband with speeds of up to 100Mbps;
- 90 top TV channels; and
- Unlimited off-peak minutes to Irish local and national landlines.
All Sky TV plans now come with the Sky Q 1TB box as standard, and a free Sky Hub wireless router, and you can choose from a range of add-ons - like Sky Box Sets, Sky Kids and Sky HD - from just €8 per month.
Why switch your broadband provider?
There are many different broadband providers available, with each one changing their offerings to make them more appealing. By switching your current provider you could avail of:
- Cheaper packages
- Faster download speeds
- Larger download limits
- Better customer service
Before switching your provider
Before you switch, it’s worth contacting your current provider to tell them you’re considering a switch, and letting them know why.
A number of providers may attempt to pull out all the stops in order to retain your business. If you inform them that you are planning to leave, it could ultimately lead to a new offer at a reduced price.
However, remember that you’ll likely save even more by switching to a new provider, as many offer large discounts to new customers.
Top 5 tips for switching broadband provider
1. Consider what you want
When you’re on the hunt for a new service and are choosing a new broadband deal there are a number of things you should look for and certain questions you should ask providers, for example:
- What is the minimum contract period?
- What broadband speed do you need?
- What is the total monthly cost?
- What download limit would suit you depending on your internet usage?
- Are there any hidden charges or extra fees for exceeding your download limit?
2. Have the correct information ready
When switching provider it’s unlikely that your phone service will be affected, but a loss of broadband service can sometimes occur temporarily during the switching process.
You can reduce the chances of this happening by having the right information to hand when it comes to switching - for example your full address and bank details.
3. Know your Universal Account Number (UAN)
If you are switching your broadband service which relies on a telephone line to access the internet, you’ll need your Universal Account Number (UAN). This is an eight digit number which is used by telecom providers to identify phone lines - it can be found on your phone bill and is an important piece of information which you’ll need in order to switch.
4. Remember the cooling off period
If you suddenly realise that you don’t want the new service after all, don’t panic. Most broadband providers have a cancellation period in the contract, which means you can cancel the contract without incurring high cancellation fees.
The cancellation period usually lasts for 14 days, but check this with your provider before you sign anything. It is very important to be aware of all aspects of the contract to avoid any unwelcome surprises cropping up down the line. If you do have an issue, our guide to broadband consumer rights has all of the information you need on your entitlements and how to complain.
5. Don’t forget to cancel your current contract
Make sure you contact your current provider to ensure you’re free to switch, and that you give the required notice so that you’re not charged after you’ve switched.
Switching broadband provider - FAQs
Are there any hidden costs to switching?
There are no hidden costs - what you’ll pay is the monthly charge you see listed on Switcher.ie and any installation fees.
However, be sure to check what the cost of the package is after the discount period - if there is one - so you don’t get any nasty surprises.
You should also make sure you’re out of contract before deciding to switch, as if you are still in contract most providers will require you to pay an early termination charge.
Can I keep my phone number?
According to ComReg, it is possible to keep your landline number when moving to a new address, as long as the new location is serviced by the same telephone exchange.
Do I cancel with my current provider before switching?
You will need to give your provider the relevant notice in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties and arrange a date to close off your account.
How do I compare broadband?
With Switcher.ie’s broadband deal checker, you can easily find out the broadband deals available. The tool allows you to compare the plans across things like cost per month/year, broadband speed, providers and bundles. This makes is really easy to find the deal that best meets your needs.
I've decided on a new broadband provider/deal - what's next?
So, you’ve decided to switch, and submitted an application form for your new broadband product.
Soon, you’ll hear from your new provider, who’ll confirm your application and may ask you for some additional details to help to set up your account with them.
You are then responsible for cancelling your broadband account with your current provider when you decide to make a switch to a new provider. You will need to give your current broadband provider the relevant notice - as stated in your contract - in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties.
When you contact your current provider, you should also arrange a date to close off your account. Once the account is closed off, you can then cancel all Direct Debits to this provider.
You should also agree an installation date with your new provider, to ensure you avoid any interruption in broadband service.
What if I change my mind?
Once you sign up, you will have a 14-day cooling-off period, during which you can cancel without any penalty.
When should I cancel my Direct Debit?
After you decide to switch, you will need to give your broadband provider the relevant notice - as stated in your contract - in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties. When you do this, you should arrange a date to close off your account. Once the account is closed off, you can then cancel all Direct Debits to this provider.
Who cancels my current broadband account?
You are responsible for cancelling your broadband account with your current provider when you decide to make a switch to a new provider.
You will need to give your broadband provider the relevant notice - as stated in your contract - in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties. You should also agree an installation date with your new provider, to ensure you avoid any interruption in broadband service.
Will I lose service during the switch?
It’s unlikely that your phone service will be affected, but a temporary loss of broadband service can sometimes occur during the switching process.
This shouldn’t last for too long, but if you have critical times of the day where you need access to the internet, it might be a good idea to arrange your switchover for outside of these times.
Will I pay a fine/ penalty when I switch broadband?
Broadband providers charge an early termination fee if you cancel your broadband or phone during your contract’s minimum term. The exception to this would be if you have a contract-free broadband product.
If your minimum term is up, you will be able to switch without penalty. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that some providers require you to give them 30 days’ notice in order to cancel, so you will need to do this in order to ensure you’re not billed for the product after you’ve switched.