Despite the average broadband speed that is advertised by providers, there are still a number of factors that may affect the actual speed you get including:

  • Where you live
  • How far you live from the telephone exchange
  • How far away your street cabinet is
  • The type of broadband cable used
  • The time of day you are using the connection

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The postcode where you live

Over 95% of the UK now has access to fast broadband (24 MB+). However, some rural and remote locations still have very weak broadband speeds due to the lack of investment in the infrastructure required to provide cabling. It's important to give a provider your postcode so that a more accurate idea of speed can be given and the packages available to you.

How far you live from the exchange

Even if there is cabling available to your home, the distance you live from the exchange may still affect both the speed you get and the quality of the signal. Longer distances from the exchange increase the potential for noise on the signal.

How far away your street cabinet is

Unless your provider is running fibre optic cable directly into your home, your speed will still depend on the distance you live from your nearest street cabinet. Most fibre broadband connections run fibre cabling to the cabinet but from there a copper wire connection is used to complete the journey to your home. The further away the street cabinet is, the more copper wire is needed and therefore the slower your connection is.

The type of broadband cable used

A standard ADSL broadband connection will be using standard copper wire from the exchange to the cabinet and then to your home. This type of connection will give you much slower speeds that are usually around 10MB.

Fibre optic cabling provides a huge increase in speed above the standard copper wire connection. As mentioned previously, most providers will still run copper wire from the street cabinet to your home.

However, some providers, such as Hyperoptic, run fibre directly to your home without using any copper wire. This delivers a massive performance boost where speeds of 1 GB can be achieved.

Time of day

During peak usage times, you may find your broadband speed is slower than at other points in the day. The busiest time is usually early evening whilst the fastest times to surf the web are early morning or during the night.

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