Broadband speed

  alik17 23:14 23 Nov 2009

Hello - I believe broadband speed partly depends on the number of people allocated by their ISP to a particular phone connection (contention ratio?).

If I change to a less popular ISP with fewer customers in my area, will I get a faster download speed even though I'll still have the same exchange and phone line?

I ask because my broadband speed has fallen significantly during the past couple of weeks, possibly coinciding with the arrival of a large number of students coming to stay in my area for the start of the University year.


  Kevscar1 10:10 24 Nov 2009

There is normally a reason why less popular ISP,s are less popular. Slow speeds bad customer service etc. It might be a case of out of the frying pan into the fire.
Have you contacted customer service re slower speeds.

  peter99co 12:29 24 Nov 2009

Which speed tester are you using?

  alik17 19:43 24 Nov 2009

Hello - thanks for the responses. After I'd asked for my MAC code when considering moving from AOL, one of their technical staff phoned me and suggested changes in my computer settings.

The speed did improve up to about 4 to 5 Mbps (I've been told by AOL my connection speed would definitely be 7.7 Mbps if I sign up for their phone/broadband scheme. Why not now?). Occasionally it was slower but, overall, not too bad.

However, recently, it's often been much slower (not unusual to be below 1 Mbps: even 0.25Mbps) especially at times it's known everyone's using their computer. If I'm downloading things, I do it at "off-peak" times. But I want to use the internet when I want to - not just when everyone else is sleeping!

When I said a less popular ISP, perhaps that was the wrong word. I meant a good one but with fewer customers than AOL, which might mean I wouldn't have to share a connection with lots of people, in the hope that would give me better speed at all times.

I've been using to check my speed.
On a few occasions, I've given up on a speed test because it's taken so long for the Speedtest map and dial screen to download!


  peter99co 20:06 24 Nov 2009

In the last week using the same tester via a Coventry Server I have recorded an ave of 6.4 with a lowest of 1.5 and high of 9.88Mb. I am with Virgin.

They are considering giving me a new modem. A Virgin engineer is coming to check my installation. They believe the signal is losing packets of download data.

Uploads are at a constant speed of .48 Mb. During a busy period I get an impression that 6.0 is to be expected but they say the local hub is heavily loaded and they plan to upgrade this soon.

  SURVEY 18:55 04 Dec 2009

I am presently with Orange but as more subscribers are added to Broadband in my area, my speed is getting slower. Am I likely to get a better speed and no loss of speed if nmore subscribers join broadband of any ISP or particularly BT as they let the lines out?

  peter99co 21:28 04 Dec 2009

Virgin increased mine from 2 Mbs to 10 Mbs. Maybe the others ISP's can do the same given time. Or lose customers!

  jack 08:48 05 Dec 2009

And logically there fore more prone to folk trying to access the pint pot at peak times.
contention ratio?.[OL/Tiscali/others =TalkTalk- same ISP.]
It makes sense to move to a less well publicised one - such a primarily business set up with a small retail arm - which is its self [in my case] part of a larger set-up.

Who is this? - well now I could tell you - but if I did I would soon be in your sort of trouble - so I wont- but the larger set up is SKY

  bremner 11:44 05 Dec 2009

One thing I am unclear on with ADSL is this.

Every ISP that offers Broadband down a telephone line uses the same line, supplied by BT.

I live 3 miles from the exchange, how does it matter which ISP I use, surely the amount of BB traffic down that line from the exchange to my village is going to be the same irrespective of whether I am with BT, SKy or Talk Talk.

  SURVEY 13:16 05 Dec 2009

bremner - I believe the answer is that BT license a certain amount of bandwidth space to each ISP. The more peoppe, with that ISP the less speed. Is this actually so?? Also if this is the case what about BT Internet - does this happen to their subscribers? Surely someone must know the answer?

  ol blueeyes 14:05 08 Dec 2009

Well I use my Broadband connection all times day and night and consistently get what I am paying for. There are exceptions but they are rare. I use o2. So i guess it doesn't matter how many or how few are using the Internet. but the quality of your supplier together with the distance from the exchange. When my line was tested BT said it would be a maximum of 10mb o2 said a maximum of 8mb The speeds i get are usually 6 7 or 8 and on some occaisons its been over 8. Mind do remember it can also be the site you are Downloading from.
We don't do it often but have you ever noticed that if you Download Security Software it is exceptionally slow.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

The Evil Within 2 review-in-progress

Photoshop CC 2018 released with new Curvature Pen and better brush tools

Camera tips to take better iPhone photos

Les meilleures applications de covoiturage 2017