Your BroadbandWhat to expect from your ISP.
Understand your broadband.
Firstly let's get the jargon out of the way.
Standard Broadband: is really "Copper gain technology" from the exchange, nothing really standard about it, it is distance dependent. In other words, the further you are from the exchange, 'Green street cabinet' or 'Telegraph Pole', the slower your connection is likely to be.
Superfast Broadband: again this is copper gain technology from the street cabinet, more throughput for most in urban areas, less in rural, but also distance dependent.
The term "superfast" is commonly used in relation to new technologies such as fibre-optic broadband to distinguish services from speeds previously achieved by ADSL. Ofcom currently defines 'superfast' as technologies capable of providing speeds equal to or greater than 30 Mbit/s.
Ultrafast Broadband is a direct fibre optic connection to your property.
Ultrafast ‘Full Fibre’ broadband or sometimes called Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) provides a fibre connection all the way from the telephone exchange to your premises. Unlike traditional Fibre Broadband (FTTC) which is a fibre connection from the telephone exchange to your local on-street cabinet, then a copper connection from the cabinet to your premises. FTTP is a 100% fibre connection offering lightning speeds and improved performance and stability of connection compared to FTTC or ADSL.
If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) support team are telling you that your line is fine, and everything is working as expected, you may need to do some homework about your service.
Understand what your maximum speed is
Standard broadband over telephone lines degrades in speed the further the line is from the telephone exchange (in cabling length). While most deals are advertised as, for example, 'up to 42Mb', most telephone lines will be rated to achieve slower connection speeds. Run a broadband speed test on your line. Ensure that the speed you're told to expect is actually higher than the speeds you're experiencing - it may be that you're already achieving the fastest speed your line can accept no matter if you live in a City or the Country.
Check your download allowance
Make sure your ISP hasn't capped your speed because you exceeded the limits of your monthly usage allowance or traffic management policy. Many ISPs now reduce your speed rather than charging you for exceeding your allowance. You should be emailed a warning if you exceed your usage allowance, however if you've simply exceeded the traffic management allowance (often in place at peak times) you won't be informed, your speed will simply drop for a fixed number of hours (or until the peak period ends). Your ISPs website should give you details of any traffic management policy in place and inform you of the effects of exceeding your usage allowance.
Standard broadband has previously always been described as 'up to 17Mbps'. However, with the introduction of the new Advertising Standards Agency ruling that broadband providers must only advertise speeds that are accessible by at least 50% of their customers, standard broadband is now, on average, advertised as 11Mbps – far closer to what most people can expect to receive.