Internet switching providers switzerland tips

Changing Home Internet Plans: What to Consider

January 4, 2024 - Ralf Beyeler

Find useful answers and tips about things to consider when changing home Internet plans in this guide from online comparison service

Many people are overwhelmed by the thought of changing Internet plans. To be fair, there are a number of things to pay attention to when changing home Internet plans.

If you want to know how to change mobile Internet providers, you can find practical tips in the guide to changing mobile plans.

1. Do I have to change TV and landline phone plans as well?

Many Internet plans are bundled with TV plans and/or home phone plans. If you use a bundled plan and want to change Internet service providers, you have to change TV and/or landline plans as well.

Tip: In many cases it can work out cheaper to get separate Internet, TV and home phone plans. The home Internet plan comparison on lets you compare each type of plan individually or compare bundled offers.

2. How should I go about changing Internet service providers?

First: Compare all available offers, get informed, and then decide on which Internet plan best suits your needs. You can find the most important tips in the guide to choosing the right Internet plan. You can find a comprehensive home Internet plan comparison here.

Second: Pay attention to the minimum contract term and the notice period of your existing Internet plan. If you use a TV plan and/or a home phone plan from the same service provider, find out whether or not the same terms and notice periods apply to all of your plans. Failure to comply with the agreed notice periods can result in your being charged high penalty fees.

Third: Submit notice of termination to your existing service provider – in keeping with the minimum contract term and notice period.

Fourth: Apply for the new Internet plan which you decided on. Set the exact date on which your existing Internet connection should be switched off. Ideally, your new Internet plan should be switched on immediately after your old plan has been deactivated.

Fifth: You will normally receive your new router (and TV set-top box if you get a TV plan) in the mail. Install the router at the time that your new plan is activated. Good to know: Your new connection may only be activated several hours after your old connection is deactivated.

Sixth: Your old service provider may require that you return your old router (and possibly other equipment like TV set-top boxes).

3. Which technology does the Internet connection use?

In Switzerland, Internet service providers generally use one of three different technologies for home Internet connections: copper phone lines; coaxial cable networks; optical fiber networks. These are explained in detail in the guide to Internet connection types.

Before you make the change, it is important to understand which telecom connections your existing and your new Internet plans use.

If both your existing plan and your new Internet plan use the same technology, then the change to the new plan requires more careful coordination. The reason for this is that both service providers use the same connection. As long as the old service provider’s signal is occupying the connection, the new service provider cannot activate your new Internet plan.

If the existing service provider and the new service provider both use your optical fiber connection, it can make sense to ask your new service provider if they can use the second optical fiber line. Normally optical fiber connections have two separate optical fiber lines connected to the socket. If the new service provider uses a different optical fiber line, the switch is a lot simpler. Important: Some service providers charge different prices depending on which line is used, and in some cases offer different Internet speeds on different lines. Other telecom companies provide identical services and pricing on both lines.

4. What should I pay attention to if I switch to a plan which uses a copper phone line connection?

In many cases you will need an electrician to activate a copper phone line connection. This is particularly true if you have only been using a different connection until now.

Note that if you use a copper phone line, you usually will not be able to use the full bandwidth offered by your Internet plan. Normally your Internet connection will be slower than advertised. Fast Internet plans which use phone lines are only available at a few addresses.

5. What should I pay attention to if I switch to a plan which uses a cable network?

If you change to an Internet plan which uses a coaxial network (cable), you just need to plug the provided router into the corresponding cable TV connection and turn the router on. The router will then connect to the Internet automatically.

6. What should I pay attention to if I switch to an Internet plan which uses optical fiber?

If you change to an Internet plan which uses an optical fiber network (FTTH), you have to give your new service provider the number specific to your optical fiber socket. The number is embossed on the connection hub itself (in this format: B.

Optical fiber connections generally have four individual sockets, and typically only socket 1 and 2 are used. When you order an Internet plan, the service provider lets you know which socket you have to use. The provider also lets you know how to connect the router and an adapter (if necessary).

7. Is the Internet plan I want available at my address?

Not all Internet plans are available everywhere in Switzerland. The plans offered by many providers are only available through specific networks. There are also Internet service providers which offer different plans for different connection types. Offers vary primarily in terms of Internet speed and pricing. Internet plans for copper telephone lines in particular do not provide the full advertised speed at many addresses. helps you by letting you find and compare Internet plans based on your specific address. If you choose to use the address-based feature, the comparison only includes offers which are available at your address. determines which connection types and Internet speeds are available at your address using APIs from telecom service providers.

8. How do I find the best Internet plan?

You can find useful information on how to choose the best Internet plan for your needs in the guide to choosing an Internet plan.

Note that TV plans and landline telephone plans are often bundled with Internet plans. Tip: In many cases you get better value by getting stand-alone Internet, TV and home phone plans from different service providers.

9. Can I keep my email address?

Today, using email services and an email address from your Internet service provider us less common. Many people use third-party email services like Gmail or GMX, which are not affected by a change of Internet service provider.

But if you do use an email address from your existing Internet service provider, make sure to inquire at your old service provider about what will happen to your address if you switch to another provider.

New email addresses from, for example, are only offered to Swisscom customers. You can continue using your email address even if you quit using a Swisscom Internet plan, but your email will be limited to 1 gigabyte of storage space.  

As a former customer, you can continue using your main email address via the free Service Package Light plan. Good to know: If you want to continue using secondary email addresses in addition to your main address, you must contact Swisscom customer services and request this before you suspend your Swisscom Internet plan. You can find the option to keep your email address on Swisscom’s online customer service page.

10. How do I suspend my existing Internet plan?

Giving your existing Internet service provider notice yourself is generally a good move. Ideally, send the notice of termination by registered mail and request written confirmation that the notice has been received.

Some service providers require you to give notice over the telephone or via their chat service. Legal experts consider this kind of clause to be invalid because it contravenes conventions.

If the new Internet plan uses your phone line and you want to keep your landline phone number, then you have to port your phone number to your new service provider. Inform your new service provider that you want to keep your existing phone number when you migrate to their plan. You normally have the option to request this when you apply for a new Internet plan.

Some service providers like Swisscom have informed that they suspend Internet connections when you port your phone number to a new provider. Theoretically that means you do not have to suspend your old Internet plan separately. But because the process of transferring customers between telecom service providers is complex, giving notice yourself is still recommended.

If you have been using an Internet plan from a cable service provider like UPC or Quickline and you will no longer need the cable connection after changing plans, make sure to deactivate the cable connection. If you pay for your cable connection directly with the cable network operator, you have to send your notice to the cable service provider. If the cost of your cable connection is included in your home rent as a supplemental charge, you have to contact your landlord or property manager to have them deactivate the cable connection.

11. Are promotional offers worth looking at?

Special promotional offers for home Internet plans are much less common than special promotions for mobile plans. But in spite of this, it can be worth waiting for special promotional offers before changing plans.

But even heavily-discounted plans should still be compared to other available offers, because it is often expensive plans which are discounted in special promotions. Affordable plans are less likely to be offered with discounts.

Additionally, you should pay careful attention to the amount of time that the special price applies to. There are special promotional offers which only give you the discounted price for several months or a year – after which the standard price applies.

Some service providers have introductory offers by which you do not pay fees for the first month.

The Internet plan comparison from accounts for special promotional offers.

12. Do I need new equipment?

Many service providers loan out Internet routers to their subscribers. In this case, the router must be returned to the provider when you suspend your Internet plan. Your new service provider will supply you with a router before your new plan is activated.

Some service providers do not loan out routers, in which case you must buy a router yourself. You can generally order a router from your new Internet service provider when you subscribe to your new plan. Alternatively, you can buy a router from an electronics dealer.

If you plan to use your own router, make sure to ask your new service providers whether your router would work for your new Internet plan.

13. Which should I do first: give notice for my old plan, or subscribe to the new plan?

Both options can work. Once you get the confirmation that your account will be suspended from your old provider, you know the exact date from which you will need your new plan to be active.

You need to give your notice directly to your old Internet provider yourself. If you want to keep your existing home phone number, you need to inform your new provider as they will handle the porting of your number.

Important: Pay careful attention to the notice period and minimum contract term of your existing home Internet plan. If you are not sure about these, contact the provider and ask.

14. How do I know when the switch will take place?

Ask your service provider about the date from which you are free to terminate your plan. You can then use this date for the change of Internet service providers. Give notice to have your old home Internet plan suspended on that date, and inform your new service provider that they should activate your new home Internet plan on that date.

15. Will I be informed when the switch has taken place?

That varies between service providers. Many telecom service providers keep you informed about the migration status by email or SMS throughout the move.

Some service providers inform you (by SMS, for example) as soon as your connection has been activated by the central operator and your Internet connection is live.

16. How long will I be offline during the change of Internet plans?

That depends. When you switch to a different type of connection (another Internet network technology) or an optical fiber line which is not used by your existing provider, you generally will not experience any downtime at all.

If the new Internet plan uses the same connection as your old plan, then there may be some downtime. This downtime can last for several hours. The service providers generally will not be able to provide an exact time at which the new connection will become active.

17. What should I consider when looking at bundled offers?

Some service providers give you multiple-plan discounts when you subscribe to their mobile plans as well as their home Internet plans.

If you terminate your home Internet plan, you lose the multiple-plan discounts. In many cases, getting your home Internet plan and your mobile plan from different service providers can work out cheaper, even when multiple-plan discounts are accounted for.

Changing Internet plans gives you a perfect opportunity to also review and compare your other telecom plans like mobile plans, TV plans and home phone plans.

18. What notice periods and minimum contract terms apply?

Swiss Internet service providers often require notice of between 1 and 3 months.

Minimum contract terms of 12 months are typical for Swiss home Internet plans. There are few plans with minimum contract terms below 12 months. Plans with contract terms of 24 or even 36 months are also rare.

You can find the notice periods and minimum contract terms for each offer in the home Internet plan comparison on the individual product information pages. However, the specific periods in your plan’s contract are the deciding factor.

19. What should I watch out for when changing Internet plans?

If you get a new Internet plan which uses your copper phone line connection, you may only be able to use a fraction of the bandwidth which your plan is capable of. Make sure to look into this more closely.

The fine print of your existing Internet plan agreement may also include a number of pitfalls. Stick to the agreed notice periods and minimum contract terms as found in the fine print of your contract. Failure to comply can result in costly penalties.

20. What are the possible reasons to change Internet service providers?

There are many different reasons why people switch Internet plans.

Some examples:

  • You are unsatisfied with their current Internet speed.
  • You are unsatisfied with the speed of some web services (insufficient peering).
  • You are unsatisfied with the customer service you get.
  • The price of your Internet plan has gone up.
  • The discounts provided by a promotional offer have expired.
  • Your needs have changed (you now work from home more, for example) and there are other plans which better match your new requirements.
  • You are moving to a new address. Your existing plan may not be usable at your new address, or it may be usable but significantly slower than it was at your old address.

21. Is it worth switching to a different home Internet plan from the same service provider?

Depending on your service provider, you may be able to save money by switching to a slower Internet plan.

Many Swiss households pay for much faster Internet connections than they actually need. Refer to the guide to choosing the right Internet speed to find out how to choose the optimal plan for your needs.

Another possible way to save is by asking yourself whether you really use supplemental home phone plans and TV plans which you subscribed to along with your Internet plan. If you do not need one or more supplementary plans, you can save money by terminating them.

But the potential savings you can get while remaining with the same provider are often small compared to those you can get by changing providers. Many special promotional offers are only available to new customers, but not to you as an existing customer. It can be beneficial to ask your existing service provider about special promotions or to negotiate lower fees. However, in many cases the savings potential of remaining with your existing service provider is minimal.

22. Is there a secret to optimizing Internet plan migrations?

“Speak to the service provider recommends telecom expert Ralf Beyeler.” Each service provider has its own process for home Internet plan migrations. Getting informed directly by your service providers is key to optimizing the move.

Another tip: Subscribe to the new Internet plan as early as possible. Even today, surprising as it may seem to some, the actual activation and deactivation of connections is carried out manually by a technician at the distribution point in your town or district.  

23. Do you still have questions?

Do you have any other questions about changing your Internet plan? Or do you have questions about a specific offer or service provider? Just ask’s telecom expert Ralf Beyeler. He is happy to help.

More on this topic:
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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.
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