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Why are broadband speeds listed as ‘average’?

Broadband speed advertising changed in May 2018. Providers are now required to quote the average speed available to customers on the package. That speed must be available to at least 50% of customers.

The truth is, the speed you can get depends on more than just the connection the ISP has sold you.

The maximum speed possible for your broadband depends on where you live and how many other people are sharing the connection, which can slow down in the post-work ‘rush hour’, or first thing in the morning. A connection can only be as fast as its slowest point.

Connecting to a server involves communicating over a long network made up of lots of different parts – your broadband line is just one part of this long connection.

Even if you’re on an incredibly fast 1000Mbps broadband connection, accessing to a server that can only handle 10Mbps means you won’t see more than 10Mbps.

ISPs often can’t guarantee the speed you’ll get until you’re actually connected, so their speeds are listed as the average value instead.

 

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