I live in a small estate of detached and semi-detached properties and for some reason the broadband we get is significantly slower than our neighbours’.
When I try and download a film, or watch a movie, it seems to take forever but other people nearby don’t have this problem.
What can I do to improve the speed?
My neighbour has super fast broadband so why am I left with such slow internet access?
Rebecca Goodman, of This is Money, replies: When you buy a broadband package you are paying for a specific speed of internet, and package of data – plus a range of other things.
Therefore if you’ve paid for a broadband package with an average speed of 36MBp/s, for example, you expect to get this.
Of course, it might be as simple as your neighbour having signed up to a better braodband deal, but your questions does not indicate that is the case.
We often hear from readers who have signed up to one service, and received something which really doesn’t match up.
There are a multitude of reasons to explain why a broadband connection isn’t performing as it should, but when other homes nearby are getting much faster speeds it can be incredibly frustrating.
Vix Leyton, spokesperson for Broadbandchoices.co.uk, explains: ‘Many things can impact your broadband speed; your provider, the package you subscribe to, how many people are connected to your network, the time of the day, the wiring within your house and the distance from the telephone exchange.
‘As there are so many variables that contribute to your signal, then someone as near as your neighbour might have a completely different experience.
‘The first port of call for checking whether you are getting the best service possible is working out the speed you are paying for.
‘A speed checker will give you a quick result to show if the speed you’re getting matches what you are paying for.
‘If it’s below the speed you have signed up to then you have grounds to complain and you should contact your provider for a solution. If it doesn’t respond to you within a reasonable time (eg: 14 working days), you can make an official complaint to it.
‘It then has eight weeks to look into your case and if by this time the problem still isn’t resolved, you can escalate your complaint.
‘All broadband providers are signed up to either the CISAS or Ombudsman Services: Communications alternative dispute resolution schemes. These are independent and can look through your complaint, and if necessary ask the provider to correct the problem.
Should I be complaining to my broadband provider over the slow speeds I’m getting?
‘Your other option is to shop around for a better connection. The way broadband speeds are advertised has changed recently and the new rules mean that providers now have to advertise what at least 50 per cent of customers will get and, crucially, what they’ll get during peak times, which will help you make an informed choice before you pick your next package.
‘Other factors to consider include the number of people sharing your connection.
‘The more people using your connection, the slower it will be. If you have a large family or live in a shared house with four or more people, you should look for packages that are fast enough to accommodate everyone using it at once.
‘An unlimited broadband package, of up to 17Mbp/s, should be good enough in most cases.
‘If you watch a lot of movies or download games, you could still benefit from a faster connection, but standard broadband should do the trick.’
Rebecca Goodman adds: There are also a few easy things you can check which might improve your broadband connection.
This includes making sure your router is in a central location and isn’t locked away somewhere. It’s better to have it higher up and away from anything that might interfere with the signal – think things like baby monitors and microwaves.
A broadband booster could also help. These need to be plugged in somewhere inbetween your router and the areas of your home where you can’t get wifi, or where the signal is weaker, and it will pick up your router’s signal and extend it. For a full list of tips on boosting your broadband signal see our guide.
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