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2nd July 2020


Switching nbn provider - A step by step guide

Written by Team Pentanet

2nd July 2020



Switching NBN providers can be quite a daunting task and often one with a lot of hassle. The switch might have you wondering: How long does it take? What's it going to cost? How long is my internet going to be down? Are there any cancellation fees? How long am I going to be stuck on hold?

Worry no more! We've put together a handy play-by-play guide, so you know exactly what to expect.

How much does it cost to switch NBN providers?

If you're on a month-to-month contract, check how much notice you need to give to your current provider before you cancel. This is called the 'notice period.' In most cases, you only need to give 30 days' notice. Sometimes this can be more or less; it's always good to know this so you can get your new service up and running!

Early termination or cancellation fees typically apply if you're on a fixed-term contract. These fees are usually calculated based on the remaining months in your current contract and can be up to a few hundred dollars.

Reach out to your current NBN provider and determine what these charges may be. You can also work these out by looking at your CIS (Critical Information Summary), which your provider must supply when you first sign up.

Tip: If you're not consistently receiving the speeds you're paying for, and your service provider cannot deliver these speeds, you may be able to open a conversation with them about releasing you from your contract early.

Selecting a new NBN provider

When selecting a new NBN provider, it helps to do your research to find a provider you trust! One with the best speeds, plans, price, local support and service, logo, and more. 😉

Contention Ratio
A crucial aspect of reliable NBN service delivery is the provider's contention ratio. 'Contention' is the term used to describe how many users are attempting to use a provider's total available capacity. A low contention ratio will be the difference between the superfast internet freeway and peak time buffer-to-buffer crawl during peak time (7pm - 11pm). Ask your prospective service provider about their contention ratio and capacity.

Keen to know a bit more about what contention is? Check out our blog post on How contention ratios can affect your NBN speeds.

Customer Reviews
Customer reviews can provide insight into a provider's speed and service. Check out Google and Facebook reviews and dedicated customer review websites like Product Review. Community Facebook groups can also be helpful, as speeds and service can differ greatly depending on your location. Ask your neighbours about Pentanet, and we're sure you'll be pleasantly surprised! 🤓

Initiating the switch: Transfer, don't cancel!

You do not need to take any action with your current NBN provider before initiating a transfer to a new service provider. Your new provider will initiate the transfer for you.

Important: Do not cancel or schedule a cancellation with your current provider while transferring to a new provider. If your service is 'cancelled' as opposed to 'transferred', downtime could be up to 5 business days. Yikes!

How long does it take to switch over to a new NBN provider? Is there downtime?

Generally, switching to a new NBN provider (or 'churning') should take around 24-48 hours during business days. During this time, you should be able to use the internet with your existing provider until you receive the new provider's completion notice. Then, just plug in your new router and follow the instructions!

Here at Pentanet, we'll only initiate the transfer once you have your router ready. That way, as soon as the transfer is complete, you simply plug in the router, and you're good to go!

Should I cancel my existing provider straight away?

To minimise downtime, have your new provider transfer the service away from your existing provider instead of cancelling. Cancellations can take five days to complete, often blocking the ability for your new provider to transfer or connect a service.

Hot tip: It's best to contact your original provider AFTER the transfer has been completed to make sure they cancel your account, just in case they don't stop your service and continue to send bills.

What if I have a 30-day notice period?

The best option is to schedule the transfer to happen one week before the end of the 30-day notice period. Doing so minimises the chance of downtime resulting from the 5-day cancellation period.

Do I need a new router?

Possibly! Service provider-supplied routers (or 'branded' routers) are often locked to that provider's network. In this case, you'll need a new router.

Store-bought routers should work with most NBN providers and must be re-configured to your new provider's network with the settings they supply once your transfer is complete.

Some routers just aren't meant to be. We've gathered a list of routers which are known to be incompatible with the Pentanet network. You can check that out, here: Which modem/routers are incompatible with Pentanet services ?

Not sure which router to pick or unsure if yours is compatible? Our friendly, local team are always willing to lend a helping hand and find the best router for your needs or check compatibility.

Do I need to be home for the provider changeover?

Luckily, the switchover process is all handled remotely on both NBN and your new provider's side. No on-site visits or technicians required!


And that's all there is to it. Armed with our step-by-step guide, switching to WA's favourite superfast internet couldn't be easier! Ready to make the switch? Check out our reliable, local nbn™ plans here.

Looking for superfast internet? Enter your address on our website to see what's available at your home or business.