Broadband - bandwidth explanation please

  WallyD 21:27 12 Jun 2009

I have a modern PC running Vista and my ISP has just upgraded me with 10 Meg broadband. The broadband is a delight and speed tests shown at different timesof the day give the lowest speed as 7.9. I run BBC i Player Ok but yesterday decided to try it on HD progs and this worked fine.
Tonight I try and it falters slightly with a message at the bottom of the screen saying inufficient bandwith.requires min bandwidth of 3.5
Does this mean too much traffic is on the line ??
I'm not unduly worried aout this as I play about and experiment a little but I would be gratefull if someone could answer this question
mant thanks

  phono 21:35 12 Jun 2009

I am not an expert but at certain times of the day demand will increase as more and more people start downloading or streaming content, the bandwidth is finite so the more using it the more it has to be shared out among the users, it is also possible that the server being contacted may be struggling to keep up with demand which can also cause a slow down, so you are probably right about too much traffic.

Maybe this explanation is a bit simplistic and possibly way off the mark, some other kind soul with more knowledge may come along and put me/us right.

  WallyD 21:38 12 Jun 2009

Much obliged

  Forum Editor 23:00 12 Jun 2009

at least partly so.

You may experience bandwidth issues if lots of people are contending for bandwidth on the same Gateway as you at your ISP. Normally contention ratios are 50:1 which means that 50 people have access to the same internet gateway. The more of them that are online, contending with you for bandwidth, the slower your own connection will be.

That form of contention will not produce an on-screen message though, whereas contention on the streaming server can - the server is effectively saying that it doesn't have access to enough bandwidth to stream the content to everyone who wants it.

  phono 00:50 13 Jun 2009

"phono's explanation is correct, at least partly so."

Cheers for that, at least I know I was partly right, I must say that I overlooked the bit about the on-screen message, was my explanation "up to the mark" otherwise?

  gazzaho 04:53 13 Jun 2009

Be aware that some ISP's throttle usage during peak times. Virgin do it between 10am to 3pm for morning and from 4pm to 9pm for evening, go over the threshold at these times and your download speed will be throttled 75% for 5 hours. Read about it here click here

  WallyD 06:56 13 Jun 2009

Fully answered
Thank you to all

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

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) review

Creative studio Omnibus' brand identity for We Said Enough, a non-profit against sexual misconduct

What to ask Siri on the HomePod

Meilleurs VPN (2018)