As a telephone engineer, I’m asked regularly “can I move my BT master socket?”. The official, short, simple answer is “no”. Sorry. But..

However, don’t go yet! There’s more to it than a straight “no” – please read on!  There are ways around this problem. And I have even heard that there are independent engineers who might actually move it for a lot less than Openreach…

There are valid reasons “why” . And there are ways to “move it” without actually moving it, as I explain here And I have written about the latest version BT Infinity master socket here

First of all, your BT master socket isn’t “yours” anyway – it’s actually the property of the company that your internet service provider (ISP) use to deliver their service to your house. In most cases, it’s the independent subsidiary of BT called Openreach, who are a neutral supplier and maintainer of wires to your house, whether you get your internet from BT, or not.

It’s a bit like your gas and electricity meter. it belongs to your provider. It’s their property. And Openreach can potentially either “walk away” from sorting out faults when their equipment has been moved without their permission, or charge somewhere around £150 to put things right. They’ll charge you roughly the same to move it, too. Talktalk charge slightly less.

However, I’d ask “Why you need to move it in the first place…?”

Your BT master socket is actually “your friend” when it comes to solving problems with your service. Take the small front cover off , and you’re at the border between you and provider . If you plug into the socket behind the small front cover and still have problems with your broadband or phone, it’s your not your fault – it’s most certainly theirs. And the fault can be passed over to them to fix without fear of any charges coming your way.

Your BT master socket is a very quick and easy way of isolating faults , and this will be the first action any customer service agent will ask you to do. If you’ve messed with it yourself, such as extending it with inferior cable and connectors, or incorrectly wiring it, then you risk a hefty bill if they come out to test your line, see it’s been moved (which is hard to disguise), and have to put it back. So, don’t move your master socket!

If you do need to move a phone socket, then simply wire one to your master socket, even if it’s a case of it being a few inches away. It’s designed to have extensions attached to it, and it’s not hard to attach them, if a bit fiddly for the unfamiliar. If you ask Openreach to move the BT master socket, they will charge somewhere around £150, and you may have to wait a fair while for the work to be done. It’s not worth the wait, cost , or hassle. Don’t move your BT master socket!

If you want to plug your broadband straight into it to improve performance, then there’s another way of doing this. If you have space, plug your broadband hub directly into it, then connect an ethernet socket into it using an ethernet lead (known professionally as a cat 5 patch lead), run another cable, then plug in your device at that end. This keeps your broadband data well away from any interference from the phone wiring in the house, and you’ll find that your broadband speed may increase. Don’t move your master socket

As I describe in another post, one alternative to this may be to buy another new master socket with both broadband and phone points on the front, add a new faceplate to your old master socket which has pins on it (marked “A” and “B”) specifically designed to connect your second socket, and cable between the two. An instant new broadband-friendly outlet. No need to move your BT master socket.

And Talktalk have a a useful page here, too.

And here is they inevitable sponsor’s message. If you are in Middlesbrough, Stockton on Tees, Darlington, County Durham, or North Yorkshire, and this all sounds far too difficult, I am a telephone engineer based in Stockton on Tees, and can help by coming to sort things out for you for less than Openreach!

However, due to time pressure, and the need to feed my wife’s shopping habit through paid work, I can’t offer remote customer service free of charge.

But I network with similar-minded independent experienced engineers across the UK,  many who are escapees from BT, so probably know someone somewhere that can help even if you are not local to me.

So, “Can I move my BT master socket?” Well, maybe…  😉

Please get in touch!