Are TV and broadband switches affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You may be wondering whether the pandemic affects your TV and broadband switch. We’ve taken a look at each provider for you.

COVID-19: Switching to Sky

Can you switch your TV?

You can still order Sky TV, and new TV services are now able to be installed since June 1st. Installations will only be provided unless someone in your household:

  • has any of the Covid-19 symptoms,
  • is self-isolating or has been recently diagnosed with Covid-19,
  • has received a government letter anyone in the household to practice shielding.

Can you switch your broadband?

Yes, you can complete your switch to Sky broadband with installations continuing as normal, provided your home abides by the safety standards highlighted above. If an engineer is visiting, they will:

  • make sure you’re comfortable for them to do so,
  • limit the amount of time they need to be in your home,
  • where necessary, will talk you through any remaining steps from outside your home.

If you already have an active broadband connection, then an engineer shouldn’t need to enter. Where possible, engineers will attempt to finish installation without entering your home.

You also need to be at an address that has Sky broadband available, just as before.

Sky’s Essential (11Mpbs average) and Superfast (59Mbps average) broadband packages remain available to order.

Both packages include unlimited downloads, line rental, Sky Talk Pay As You Talk and the latest Sky Hub wireless router.

What about upgrades?

Sky were previously prioritising those customers who need their service reinstated, but normal upgrade installations are now going ahead.

Sky Q upgrades are going ahead where customers don’t have the classic Sky TV set-up already up and running.

What about Sky Go?

Sky Go and Sky Go Extra is available to new customers, so they have online access to everything in line with their subscription. They won’t be charged until after installation is confirmed.

Can you contact Sky?

Understandably, Sky’s contact centre is prioritising its vulnerable and isolated customers, as well as those over 70 and key workers. You can still call in if you need to, but if you’re not in this group then it's worth managing your account online, where you can find answers to most queries.

Are service visits and home moves going ahead?

Yes, service visits and home moves will go ahead as planned.

Can you pause Sky Sports?

Yes, Sky has responded to the fact that sport has stopped as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It’s understood that customers might want to put a hold on Sky Sports for now and save the money, so the option to pause it free of charge is there. It will restart once sport returns.

The option is found within your Sky online account.

COVID-19: Switching to Virgin Media

Can you switch your TV?

Yes, Virgin Media operates everything through its cable network and switches to Virgin Media continue to be available. The provider is operating with strict guidelines in place to protect customers and engineers. You can read more about these guidelines here.

Customers will be sent, where possible, a quick-install pack so engineers should not need to enter homes.

Can you switch your broadband?

As with TV, Virgin Media broadband packages remain available, and the same guidelines apply.

COVID-19: Switching to BT

Can you switch your TV?

If you need an aerial installation then this will be delayed. Engineers are not coming into properties, but equipment is being delivered by courier. As long as you don’t need an aerial installed you can still switch to BT TV, as the TV box will be sent to you.

Can you switch your broadband?

Yes, broadband switches are carrying on as normal, as long as you don’t need an engineer in your home.

However, BT’s Ultrafast service, which is the top tier fibre available, will not be possible as an engineer would need to come and install the cable directly into your home.

Equally, if you don’t have an active phone line, then you won’t be able to switch to any BT broadband, as this would require new hardware installed at your home by an engineer.

What about BT stores?

BT has taken the decision to close its stores temporarily. Customers can continue to get in touch online or through the contact centres, but, understandably, vulnerable customers are being prioritised.

Is BT doing anything else for customers?

BT has chosen to remove broadband usage caps in order to help customers. For BT landline-only customers, the cost of calls to UK landlines and mobiles will also be capped at £5 a month to make things more manageable at this unprecedented time. 

COVID-19: Switching to TalkTalk

Can you switch your TV?

Switching to TalkTalk TV should be fine, as long as you don’t need an aerial installation. The YouView box is sent in the post, and you should just be able to set this up yourself.

Can you switch your broadband?

Switching to TalkTalk broadband remain available, but customers who require an engineer visit may find their appointment postponed.

Switches to TalkTalk’s top-tier ultrafast fibre packages will be affected. That’s because they require an engineer visit to install cabling in your home.

If you don’t have an active phone line already then you won’t be able to switch to any broadband packages with TalkTalk, as a line would need to be installed by an engineer.

Is TalkTalk doing anything else for customers?

TalkTalk already offers unlimited usage with all broadband packages, so higher usage over the coming weeks will not come at an increased cost. The network is also being monitored to ensure that any connectivity issues are addressed as quickly as possible.

Can you contact TalkTalk?

Contact centres are operating at reduced capacity in the interests of staff safety. You can still get in touch though, and vulnerable customers are being prioritised.

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