"An increase of just 0.6Mbit/s is not much for customers to get excited about. Our own independent consumer research revealed this year that broadband speed dissatisfaction actually increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2011 so this is clearly an issue that needs urgent attention.
"The way that broadband speeds are advertised still needs a lot more work in light of Ofcom's findings that the gap between advertised and actual speeds has increased, again. We have been pushing for 'typical speeds' to be made the gold standard for speed advertising since 2007 - in the same way that banks use 'typical APR' percentages. Ofcom's code of practice has made some steps in the right direction, but without some more careful thought, there's still room for a lot of confusion. How will my mum know if a service offering 1Mb – 6Mb is better or worse than one providing 2Mb - 5Mb? She needs to know what speed she's most likely to receive most of the time.
"There is however some good news: Orange customers have benefited from improvements which have clearly enhanced average speeds and once again Virgin Media demonstrates the technical advantages its cable network offers with average speeds within a hair's breadth of its advertised figures. Whilst Virgin Media packages can cost a little more than other broadband and phone bundles on the market, if speed is a priority for the consumer it is a good value option in comparison to other deals.
"The improved availability of superfast broadband from BT Infinity is a positive development but it's horses for courses so consumers should think about the speed they actually need before forking out. For example, a superfast connection is far more useful for families with multiple users in the home or hardcore gamers."
Broadbandchoices.co.uk's top tips for maximising connection speed:
1. Test your speed - If you haven't already done so, use a speed tester to measure the speed at which your broadband connection is running. This will allow you to see what difference the following suggestions make to your speed. Find one at http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/speed-test.html
2. It's good to talk - If you're not getting what you expected from your broadband company, give them a call. You may be able to boost your connection speed simply by asking them if there is anything they can do to help / re-grade the line.
3. Reposition your router - The position of your router can have a significant effect on the quality of your wireless connection. Place it in an area where the signal will be affected by as few obstructions and little interference as possible. For example, away from appliances which emit wireless signals (e.g. cordless phones) and avoiding barriers (such as walls and doors) between the router and your computer.
4. Spring clean your cache - Every time you visit a webpage, your browser will store, or "cache" it. All these items stored in your cache do take up space and over time it can get very full. Periodically clearing out your browser's cache will enable it to function more effectively.
5. Upgrade your browser - If you are unhappy with the browsing speed of your connection then you should definitely consider installing a newer web browser. Using the latest browsers can greatly reduce the time it takes to download a web page. Check www.download.com for free downloads of the latest browsers, but you should be careful when making any changes to the settings on your computer.
6. Monitor your applications - There are many applications (such as RealPlayer or Windows Updates) that may discreetly start running when you log in to your computer and these may slow your connection down. Set these applications so they don't run automatically - this should reduce your bandwidth overhead and make a noticeable difference to your connection speed.
7. Disable P2P software - P2P applications often continue to run in the background even when you think you've turned them off as they continually upload and download - this will not only slow you down but can also use up your download allowance. To avoid this, check the settings and set the programme to "no peer to peer", so it won't run when you're not using it.
8. Loathe thy neighbour - If you have wireless broadband, the first and foremost thing you should do is secure your wireless network. If you are unwittingly sharing your connection with unauthorised users then they will be using up valuable bandwidth. This means that the speed of your connection and download allowance could take a battering, not to mention the security threat this poses.
9. Traffic jams - The time of day at which you go online can greatly affect connection speeds. When lots of people are trying to access the internet at the same time there is increased traffic on the physical phone lines and also each website's servers. Heaviest traffic is usually in the evenings, so to benefit from the fastest speeds you should try to surf when internet traffic is low, generally in the daytime or very late at night. If you have heavy downloading to do, you will get the fastest download speeds during off-peak periods.
10. Switch - After all these measures, if your current package still isn't giving you the speed you want, it may be time to switch. The speed you will be able to achieve does depend on some factors outside your control - such as your distance from the telephone exchange. Evaluate the time and money needed to improve on your current connection and decide for yourself if it's worth an upgrade. Use our Ofcom-accredited comparison calculator at www.Broadbandchoices.co.uk to compare broadband deals and find a more suitable package for you.
For further information please contact:
Michael Phillips/Jon Ingram
020 7400 6234
Karen Wagg/Emily Church
020 3178 5013
Broadbandchoices.co.uk was launched in 2005 and is the UK's leading Ofcom accredited broadband comparison calculator.
We offer comprehensive and impartial advice on broadband, mobile broadband and bundled packages (broadband with home phone and digital TV) saving our users over £200 when they switch.
The Broadbandchoices.co.uk calculator compares thousands of different combinations of packages and provides results in a clear, intuitive table where users can rank and compare services according to their individual needs.
Broadbandchoices.co.uk powers over 20 leading comparison services including Confused.com, Comparethemarket.com and GoCompare.com.
Broadbandchoices.co.uk – working hard to save you money
This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of BroadbandChoices.co.uk in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.