Broadband Providers
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What is Broadband?
Broadband is high speed Internet access, that is permanently connected and allows you to use both the Internet and receive or make telephone calls at the same time with only one telephone line.
What factors affect the broadband speed that I can receive?
Advertised Speeds This is the speed used in the description of the packages sold by broadband providers, ie. ADSL Max is described as 'up to' 8Mb because the service is provided at the highest possible speed that a line can support up to the 8Mb speed. Maximum Access Line Speed (Or 'Estimated Maximum Line Speed') This is the maximum speed your line should be able to support. This will vary from house to house depending on how far you are from the local telephone exchange and the length of the wire leading to your home. Throughput Speed (Also known as 'Connection Speed') This is the actual speed experienced when you are connected to the internet. This figure is often dependent on many factors, from the number of subscribers online at the same time to the number of people accessing the same web sites that you are. Throughput can vary from day to day or intervals within the same day. Speed Constraints Once connected and stable, the access line speed and throughput can be affected by a number of factors. Access Line Speeds: The initial estimate provided is based on a test on your telephone number and distance calculated between your premises and the local telephone exchange. This is an estimate as there is no assurance that the cabling follows the most direct route. Hence the distance from the exchange is known as the line length. Further implications to the line access speed (sometimes referred to as line or sync rate) will emerge if your internal telephone wiring is not optimal or long extension cables are being used. In addition, the set up and quality of hardware may impact the line rate. Hardware would include your PC speed, modems and micro filters. Throughput: Put simply, the sheer volume of customers using the network at the same time. There are peak times (typically 6pm to 10pm) where the network is being used by the most customers. A technical issue could be responsible for a slowed throughput. This is harder to identify but would be more recognisable if you notice a degradation of service from a previous time on the same telephone line. The following are some of the most common reasons for reduced throughput: - Interference from other devices in the home - The type of application being used - Internal shared services (multiple PC's / Games consoles / IPTV) - External applications sharing your devices (peer to peer) - Viruses and Spyware and other installed software on the PC - Insufficient or incorrectly installed micro filters - There are other external factors which can reduce the throughput speeds. IP / ATM and other overheads needed to secure the service in the network means that an 8Mb service is likely to only ever receive 7Mb of throughput at best. Other external factors include: - Quality of the wiring from the telephone exchange to your door - Interference / noise - Stabilisation period (10 days from the time a MAX order is completed) - A fault in the network profile
How do I check if Broadband is available in my area?
The search box on our homepage allows you to check broadband availability by postcode:
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