Practical tips for improving your broadband speed

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There are a number of factors which can affect the speed of your broadband connection.

The distance your home is from the telephone exchange, the time of day you go online and the number of people in your home using the internet at the same time, can all play a part in slowing down your connection.

Your device may also not be set-up correctly or the line that provides the internet connection to your home may be damaged, while your internet provider's traffic management policies could also be a factor.

The following tips could help bring your connection back up to speed – the last three tips (8-10) apply specifically if you receive your broadband through your telephone line rather than via cable.

Broadband Speeds Code of Practice

Most ISPs have signed up to the Broadband Speeds Code of Practice, which ensure that your provider gives you information about the speed you can expect to get. Read a customer guide to the code.

Under this Code, ISPs have committed to:

  • give customers information on their estimated speeds range in writing at the start of a contract;
  • allow customers to exit contracts without penalty if they receive speeds significantly below their original estimate;
  • explain clearly and simply how technical factors (such as how far you live from the exchange) may slow down the speed that you may get and give you help and advice if you can do something yourself at home to improve the situation;
  • have robust processes in place to ensure that customers' speed-related problems are dealt with swiftly and effectively.

When purchasing a broadband service, check whether your ISP has signed up to the code and make sure you get an estimate of the speed you can expect to receive.

We recently reviewed the codes to make some improvements. The new codes will apply to contracts purchased from 1 March 2019. Read more about the changes.

Broadband universal service obligation (USO)

From March 2020, the broadband USO will give people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection.