I suggest yo go to Speedtest.net :
http://www.speedtest.net/ And make a note of the result. Then contact your ISP by phone if the result is low. For example I am on a "Up to 8Mbps" contract with Talk Talk. A couple of months ago I was getting about 5.5 - 6 Mbps. It suddenly dropped to below 1Mbps. It turned out to be a fault at the local exchange to do with LLU. I am now getting 9.5 - 10 Mbps - not bad against a 8Mbps contract. Do have your phone line and connections checked. What speed is your friend signed up for?