Upgrading your Internet Contract
- Last Updated: Thursday, 03 June 2021 14:47
This may now be a good point to check your current broadband contract. See what you are paying and how long it has left to run, and whether your chosen supplier even offers a full fibre service. Not all do.
Most residents will pay monthly for a fixed term contract for their Broadband Internet Service. Twelve, eighteen and twenty-four month contracts are common. Cancellation charges may apply if you cancel your contract before the end of the fixed term. These should be itemised in your contract. You are usually able to upgrade during a contract term to a better service with the same supplier (ISP), but typically you also need to extend the contract term to another twelve, eighteen or twenty-four months.
Once you have pledged your voucher then you are expected to upgrade to a full fibre (FTTP) broadband service within 28 days of Openreach having completed the installation.
Contracts that expire before the upgrade to a full fibre broadband service is available
If your contract has expired already or will expire in the 10 to 12 months after you have pledged your voucher (i.e. by the time we are expecting the upgrade to take place) then your options are:
- Continue with your current supplier but stay "out of contract". This usually means that you are paying a higher monthly amount than when you were in contract, but can cancel at any time. This will give you the flexibility to choose the best full fibre broadband service provider when the time comes to upgrade. The out of contract monthly payment will vary between ISPs but, as long as it is not excessive, this will usually be the best option.
- Take out a new contract with a clear upgrade path to Full Fibre (FTTP). If you are using one of the ISPs (e.g. BT) that can supply a true Full Fibre (FTTP) broadband service then this may be the right option to you. Until the upgrade takes place then you pay the lower rate that usually applies (in contract) but then upgrade to FTTP once Openreach have completed the installation work. If you go down this route, you must check the small print of the contract carefully and make that you can upgrade and a suitable Full FIbre (FTTP) package is available and can be ordered as soon as the installation work is complete.
- Take out a new contract that can be cancelled with one month's notice. This option may be considered if you can't continue out of contract at a reasonable price and you are not sure who the best supplier is. Some ISPs (e.g. IDnet) do offer a rolling monthly contract. At £38.40/month including a landline (price at the time of writing) this is more expensive than a fixed term contract, but will keep your options open.
Please note that if you go to a price comparison website to check on broadband prices, they will not normally offer you a service you cannot currently get. That is, you won't see FTTP prices until FTTP has been installed. Indeed, some price comparison sites may not even show you Full Fibre (FTTP) prices even after the service has been upgraded. This is because not all suppliers offer an FTTP service (typically the very low cost ones don't) and the price comparison site is trying to show you the cheapest price - this is not necessarily the best service.
To find out FTTP prices, you need to go direct to each ISP and look at the prices they are offering for fibre services. Alternatively, Openreach suggest that you should use the postcode MK18 2HY as a way round this problem when searching price comparison websites. In Alresford, the SO24 9PP postcode does already have FTTP and may also be used to find FTTP package prices.
This price comparison site is currently showing the list of BT Superfast (FTTC) and Ultrafast (Full Fibre FTTP) broadband packages. We are also updating our FAQ with a selection of current broadband prices.
Also, if you decide to go "out of contract" for a few weeks or months in order to wait for the FTTP upgrade before agreeing a new contract, beware of your existing ISP's call centres. They will try and push you to take out a new contract and may well tell you that they already support fibre broadband to your property and can upgrade you now. They mean FTTC not FTTP and if you did accept a deal on this basis, you will not get any speed increase and you may even find it difficult to get the fibre connected to your house without agreeing to another upgrade or having to move to a different ISP!
We are trying to compile a list of suppliers that will offer FTTP services in the Alresford area. At present, the list is:
- Talk Talk
This is a rapidly changing market and as the market for FTTP grows, more suppliers are providing broadband FTTP services.
Contracts that expire after the upgrade to a full fibre broadband service has been Completed
If your contract will not expire until after the upgrade takes place then your options are:
- Upgrade your contract to a Full Fibre (FTTP) Broadband service within 28 days of Openreach completing the installation. If your current broadband supplier (ISP) is offering a Full Fibre (FTTP) service - see above list - then this is probably your best option. However, you should check carefully the terms and conditions of your current contract and the upgrade terms on offer before proceeding to pledge your voucher and then only proceed if you are happy with the upgrade terms. Be careful when reading broadband package descriptions. So called "Fibre Packages" are often FTTC and not FTTP services.
- Cancel the contract when the upgraded service becomes available and move to a new Full Fibre (FTTP) Broadband service within 28 days of Openreach completing the installation. This may be the only option available to you if your ISP does not provide a Full Fibre (FTTP) service - see above list. You should check your current contract and make sure that paying the cancellation charge is acceptable before you pledge your voucher.
While it is understandable that you will not want to pay any cancellation charge, you could easily end up being "penny wise and pound foolish". An ultrafast Full Fibre (FTTP) broadband service is far better than the one you have now. The cost per megabit will be lower. If you are an owner occupier then the availability of FTTP could have a significant impact on the value of your house and one that is out of all proportion to any cancellation charge.
If your current download speed is below the minimum that you should be getting (for your address) then you may have a case for terminating your current contract without having to pay a cancellation charge. See this which article for more information.
After the Upgrade
Once you have upgraded (to a minimum length contract of 12 months) and confirmed this to the DCMS then it appears that your commitment is at an end. You can cancel the contract at any time afterwards, if you want, or move house. Of course, if you do move then it's the new owner or tenant that gets the benefit of Ultrafast Broadband.