- Download our Moving to the UK Guide (PDF)
With highly developed communications infrastructure, expats will have no problem taking advantage of the latest technology in order to keep in touch in the United Kingdom – with those back home as well as to cultivate new relationships.
Perhaps the greatest difficulty comes in researching the most effective and economical package for an individual's communication needs and then making time to have the technology installed amid what is an often erratic expat schedule.
Internet in the United Kingdom
Setting up broadband can be a slow and frustrating business, and it is often necessary to deal with several departments of the relevant broadband provider to organise set-up. If expats need immediate access to the internet during the set-up process they can reduce the inconvenience by:
- Purchasing a mobile broadband dongle on a pay-as-you-go programme, which can be bought from most mobile phone shops
- Setting up all communication accounts at once – telephone, broadband and television
ADSL is by far the most popular choice of UK broadband. That said, this type of broadband uses an existing telephone line so if a home does not have an active telephone line set up, expats will need to have this sorted before arranging for broadband installation
It is important to begin by checking that cable services are available in the local area. This can be done by consulting Virgin. If the area is covered, residents are able to sign up for fibre, which offers faster internet speeds. The majority of cable services are covered by Virgin but there are a few small companies competing for customers.
Satellite television packages in the United Kingdom
The advantage of having a Virgin Media package is that the Virgin engineer will install the telephone line, broadband and television package all in one day. They are able to do this as Virgin has its own phone lines, so does not have to use BT phone lines. Virgin offers a wide range of packages to suit different requirements.
Expats will need to have a telephone line installed or reactivated before broadband can be set up. Several different subscriptions are offered at various price points.
Sky supplies the most popular television packages in the UK. It also supplies broadband and telephone line packages. Sky is not able to install a telephone line, broadband and television package in one day, as Sky uses BT telephone lines. So, first customers need to have a BT telephone line installed or reactivated before the television package and broadband can be installed. Therefore, an expat would need to set up an installation date for the BT engineer to install a phone line, followed by another installation date for the Sky engineer to install the Sky TV package. Sky offers a wide range of packages to suit different requirements.
►Learn about the UK property market by reading Accommodation in the United Kingdom
Are you an expat living in The United Kingdom?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to The United Kingdom. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.