Guide to Switching Your Broadband Provider

9 Steps to Follow When Switching Broadband Provider

There are lots of reasons why you might want to switch broadband provider – maybe you’re moving house; perhaps you’re unhappy with the speed and reliability of your current provider and their customer service OR you just found an AMAZING deal with us at Country Connect that’s too good to pass up! Whatever your reason for wanting to switch, here are the most important things to consider and be aware of.

1. Check what broadband services are available in your area

Firstly, in order to find the provider and deal that’s best for you, you need to know what’s on offer. Using comparison sites can be really useful BUT they generally will only show deals from the bigger, national companies who can afford the high marketing cost of the listing. 

Country Connect provides ultrafast (FTTP) full fibre broadband services to Caerleon and Ponthir in South Wales and we are constantly building out our network and expanding to include more and more postcodes. To check availability in your area, use our handy online postcode checker.

2. Discover your current broadband speed

We routinely perform speed checks as part of our installation process for new customers of our FTTP Full Fibre Ultrafast Broadband service. You can easily and quickly check your internet connection speed by using an online tool like

When shopping for broadband packages, be aware of ‘minimum speed’’ and ‘average speed’’ that will appear in the small print. You may be signing up for a 100Mbps tariff BUT usually the actual speed that you will get will be a LOT lower in reality. Partly due to high contention ratios (see below for more info) and also due to many connections being FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and not full fibre (FTTP)  to your property. 

In contrast, at Country Connect, the speed you buy is EXACTLY what you get. One of the huge advantages of having an FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) or full fibre connection delivered over our independent network is that we can control and guarantee with 100% confidence the precise speed that you will get. So, when you purchase a 100Mbps package, you get 100Mbps synchronous upload AND download speeds.

3. Understand contention ratio 

Contention ratio refers to how many users are sharing the data capacity on a provider’s line. In simple terms it is a count of how many other premises are using the same main broadband line as you. Standard contention ratios are around 1:50 (1 line between 50 households) and Country Connect’s are just 1:15 – significantly lower! When the contention ratio is high, a lot of people are connected at the same time as you, and this will drag your speeds down significantly.

4. Know the difference between FTTP (real full fibre) and FTTC (fibre) connections

Ok, so here’s the techie explanation of the difference in simple terms but for more info read the related blog  post “The real full fibre – everything you need to know”.

Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) or ‘full fibre’ 

Full fibre broadband is the best way for you to get ultrafast internet connectivity into your home or office. You’ll have fibre-optic cables connected directly into your premises and it’s called FTTP (Fibre to the Premises). FTTP provides a Gigabit-ready connection that is up to 10 times faster, more reliable and can flex to accommodate increasing data demands. 

Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) or ‘fibre’ 

FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) is the older style of fibre broadband and was the pre-cursor to FTTP.  FTTC still uses copper cables to connect properties from a  shared cabinet in the street so the fibre-optic cables only go as far as an exchange outside your house. The exchange is shared with all the residents connected via that part of the network. You gain your connection through copper wires from the exchange into your premises, which significantly reduces the Internet speed and performance. To summarise, an FTTC internet connection is fibre to the shared cabinet in the street BUT the connection into the individual premises is copper. So you have fibre to a point, but it is not the true full fibre connection. FTTC copper connections are outdated and inferior to FTTP and are NOT Gigabit ready. You may well be under the impression that you have full fibre broadband but actually have FTTC. National internet service providers often set this up without explaining the difference to customers. 

We encourage you to ask the question to your current provider and demand clarity!

5. Consider your total cost

When shopping for broadband packages, make sure you read the small print and understand the total costs for all elements. In addition to the price of your monthly broadband there can often be additional fees that are not highlighted clearly enough. Look for: 

  • – Connection charges
  • – Phone line rental (if you are adding in an analogue phone or VoIP service)
  • – Set-up / admin fees
  • – New router charge
  • – Technical support costs

Each provider has its own fees and charges, so be sure to check. 

6. Look at bundled services to find the best package

Depending on your requirements and personal preferences, you may want to layer on additional services, typically phone (traditional analogue line OR digital for VoIP calls) and/or TV where it’s offered. It’s worth noting that you do not HAVE to broadband, phone and TV delivered by the same company. You can mix and match – just do the research to find the solution that best fits your needs and budget. 

At Country Connect we offer VoIP as an add-on service alongside our ultrafast (FTTP) broadband service. A basic line is just £5 p/mth – you can keep your existing number and migrate to VoIP paying only for the calls that you make.

7. Look at changing to VoIP

A VoIP (Voice over IP) connection lets you make and receive phone calls over the internet as opposed to the traditional copper line phone network of the past 140 years.  VoIP is a cost-effective and future-proofed alternative to the traditional copper landlines being phased out as part of the 2025 #BigSwitchOff.  If you have a broadband internet connection, you can add on a VoIP phone service and make calls without the need for renting a line from a local phone service and without the need for additional wiring. So, you can simply plug in your digital VoIP handset and you’re ready to go. It’s really that simple.

For more information and a full explanation of our products and services, read the blog “VoIP – everything you need to know”

8. See what other people are saying

To help you choose the right provider, read independent reviews of their services on sites such as Ofcom also publishes research showing customer satisfaction with broadband providers – not just in terms of speed, but also how happy customers are with value for money and overall service. Both of these sources can make for very interesting reading! 

We are very proud to have achieved a 5 star rating from 92% of our reviews. We ask our customers to leave reviews and you can read them on Trustpilot.

9. Investigate contract buy-out options

If you want to switch before your contract ends, you might have to pay an exit fee to your current provider – that is unless your exit relates to a provable contractual failing on their part for example, if the speed falls below the minimum guaranteed when you signed up. 

At Country Connect we now offer contract buy-outs where the eligibility criteria is met. Here is our contract buy-out process outlined in 4 simple steps:

  1. Contact your current provider to find out the cost of early exit from your contract 
  2. If that cost is less than 3 times the cost of the monthly tariff that you want to switch to, then we will cover that cost for you
  3. Provide proof of your exit fee amount – eg. an email or official document from the current provider.
  4. We will credit your account at the start of your contract with that full amount. You pay the full exit amount directly to the old provider, and that amount is taken off your Country Connect account upfront.

Example illustration:  You are interested in a tariff that costs £25 per month. 3 x £25 = £75. We will cover the cost of up to £75 to help you switch to us.

For more help on switching to Country Connect and contract buy-outs, please contact a friendly member of the team who can help you understand the available options. Call us on 0800 999 1519 or use the live chat service on the website. 


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No more waiting for your browser to load. We do not estimate or quote speeds of ‘up to’ – the speed you choose is the speed you get and NEVER less!

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