If you're interested in switching your broadband service provider, then there are a few things that you need to know about. Changing providers can be an excellent way of saving money, since most providers give lower prices and better deals to new customers. As long as your contract with your old provider has ended, then you can switch providers whenever you want, without penalty. If your current contract hasn't ended, then you're going to need to pay a fee to cancel your contract, but you can still switch. In order to switch smoothly, you're going to need to get your MAC code. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about MACs.

What Does MAC Stand For?

MAC stands for migration access code, and it's a unique code that identifies your broadband connection. It consists of a collection of letters and numbers that's between seventeen and nineteen characters long, but it always begins with an L.

What Do I Need it For?

A MAC allows a seamless; or almost seamless transfer of services between providers. By passing your MAC from your current provider to your new provider, you'll get an easier transfer process. Transfers done using a MAC mean that whilst the transfer itself will probably take around ten days or so, you will only be without internet access for a couple of hours on the actual day of the switch.

What If I Can't Get a MAC or Don't Have One?

There are some circumstances under which you won't have a MAC. Customers who have never connected to broadband services before, for example, won't have a MAC. And there are instances in which your current broadband provider won't be able to give you your MAC. This is usually to do with LLU packages, where lines and connections are owned by different companies. Whilst most of the time you will be able to get a MAC, if you can't get one or don't have one, you can still switch companies. The down side of switching providers without using a MAC is that you will be without services for several days. When you cancel your contract with your old company your service will be suspended, and you won't be reconnected until the new provider has processed your registration, which is usually about ten days.

What if My Provider Won't Give Me My MAC?

This is impossible. Whilst giving customers their codes used to be discretionary, it is now a legal requirement that a company has to give you one within five days of your request. They must supply you with the code in two different forms, which usually means they'll tell you over the phone and send you an email. A company may be unable to give you your code because they don't have it, but they may not refuse to give you a code. The only exception to this is if you already have your code and it's still valid. A MAC has a validity period of thirty days, and a provider is not required to give you a new code within the validity of a code they have already given you.