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Broadband Speed Faults Guide

If you're experiencing slow broadband speeds, there are a number of things you should check before raising a fault.

  1. Slower speeds with Broadband Max
  2. Run a Speed Test
  3. Exchange Contention
  4. Viruses and Spyware
  5. Checking if you get slow speeds for all applications

1. Slower speeds with Broadband Max

BT's Broadband Max allows broadband services to be delivered at up to 6Mb. The service is more sensitive to line noise and interference than fixed-speed broadband, the actual speed of the service will depend on factors such as your distance from exchange, and the quality of your line. It is also possible that your connection speed may suddenly drop. This is because the speed adapts to the quality of your telephone line.

Note: Heavy rain and other extreme weather conditions can affect the speed of your broadband connection. In some cases this may also cause connection problems. You should bear this in mind before reporting a broadband fault.

If the speed of your connection has been lowered as the result of a temporarily fault on the line, once the fault is cleared, the speed of service will generally increase back to usual levels after a period of three days.

If you find your speed has been reduced for more than three days, we recommend that you disconnect and reconnect on a daily basis for several days. This will force your broadband equipment to resynchronise with the telephone exchange and these resets can help to revert the speed of your service back to usual levels.

You can learn more about fluctuations in throughput speed by reading What is Broadband Max?

2. Run a Speed Test
Using the Madasafish Speed Test can help you identify the cause of your slow speeds. It's important to note that broadband is not always available at the maximum possible speed, this may mean that you're not actually experiencing a speed fault. Find out more about using the Broadband Speed Test.

3. Exchange Contention
If your telephone exchange is particularly busy or has a lot of heavy broadband users, your broadband may be slower than you expected. Broadband Max is 'rate-adaptive' and BT say that a line that has been upgraded may perform more like a 2Mb line at peak times when the network is busy.

4. Viruses and Spyware
Run a full virus check to ensure that your computer is not infected. You should also remove any Spyware and Adware as this software can significantly slow down your connection. Find out about Bullguard virus and Spyware protection.

5. Checking if you get slow speeds for all applications
If you have a genuine broadband fault it's likely that you'll see slow speeds no matter what you're doing with your connection. If you're just getting slow speeds with one type of traffic, peer-to-peer for example, it is unlikely that your software or exchange congestion is causing the slowdown. Your speeds could also be being slowed down because you have exceeded your monthly usage allowance.

If you have checked all the above, and you still think you have a broadband fault, please use our Broadband Fault Checker. By using this you can run a series of tests against your connection and, if necessary, report a fault to us which we will pass to BT for further investigation. Use the Broadband Fault Checker.


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