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Coronavirus: Can I Still Switch Broadband?

For employees who must work from home, a reliable and steady broadband connection is more important than ever. You need good internet to retain productivity... to join those Microsoft Teams video calls without intermittent audio... to keep sending those all-important emails without delay.... and ultimately, to keep your manager happy! 

Coronavirus has also had a massive effect on businesses... many are running with reduced service and staffing. So, what does coronavirus or COVID-19 mean for those wanting to switch internet providers? We’ve got the answer for you – just read on. 

Switching to another Openreach provider 

Good news if you’re wanting to switch to another Openreach provider!  

You should be able to change your broadband without a bother. This is because you don’t need an engineer to come round and install your service – you should already have an Openreach socket in your home. 

Your new Openreach provider will most likely send you a router via courier or postal service. All you need to do is simply plug it in when it arrives, set up your connection and you’re good to go!  

Openreach providers include BT, EE, John Lewis, Now Broadband, Plusnet, Shell Energy, Sky, The Post Office, SSE, TalkTalk, Vodafone. 

Switches which require a home installation 

Say, you’re switching from Virgin to BT, or vice versa, you’ll most likely require an in-home engineer visit. 

Even though Openreach are now allowing engineers to complete home visits, there are some restrictions in place. For example, only essential visits will be allowed – and even then Openreach engineers will strive to complete much of the job outside of your property.  

An Openreach spokesman commented: “We won’t be working beyond the main telephone socket or fibre connection point in a property, and we won’t be installing extension sockets - to minimise the time engineers have to spend in your home. 

At the end of an engineer appointment, he/she will explain what they’ve done - via the phone, WhatsApp or Facetime – whichever suits you best, and to abide by social distancing measures still in place.” 

Please note that there could be a delay an appointment due to demand and limited availability. 

Is it safe for an engineer to visit? 

Ultimately, it is for you to decide if you feel comfortable having someone from outside of your ‘bubble’ inside your home. 

However, to put your mind at ease, companies are obligated to protect both the public and their staff by implementing health and safety measures in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how Virgin Media is ensuring everyone’s safety: 

  1. Technicians have to confirm they don’t have flu-like symptoms, aren’t self-isolating and haven’t been to high-risk areas. 

  2. They will text or ring the customer to check if they have had symptoms or are self-isolating. If yes, they will reschedule for two weeks later. 

  3. Engineers are provided with and encouraged to regularly use anti-bacterial hand wipes and latex gloves. 

  4. Where possible, Virgin is providing self-install kits to avoid unnecessary engineer home visits.

Health and safety measures have been put in place to protect the public and employees.

It looks like broadband switches are going ahead as normal – and changing internet providers isn’t a problem. You might experience a bit of a delay if you need an engineer appointment and remember that all companies have health and safety measures in place to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. 

So, what’re you waiting for? Get switching today and you could save yourself some money with a new broadband deal!

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