As you reach the end of your contract for your current broadband connection, it is worth considering a different provide, who might give you a faster broadband speed for a better price. As demands increase on your internet connection, it can appear that your download speeds are slowing down and everything is working just a little bit more slowly.
Despite this very few people actually make the effort to switch. Even when neighbours and friends have already made the switch and can’t stop raving about how easy it is to download movies at super-fast speed, there is still a sense of loyalty that appears to work and a bit of a fear of the unknown. You assume that even after making the switch, after comparing all the deals, that after a few months, you will realise that nothing has really changed at all. Your Internet speed will seem to be more or less the same as the previous connection and you will simply be frustrated.
Surveys have shown that broadband customers, on an average, in the United Kingdom are using and paying for services that are as much as 40 % slower than what’s been advertised by the providers. In many instances, while paying for 12 Mbps (megabits per second); a customer is receiving only around 7 Mbps.
The kind of broadband connection and speed you will get largely depends on your postcode. If you are living in a big city, you will be able to avail more reliable, faster and varied services from your broadband provider. On the other hand, many rural and other small towns and areas don’t enjoy such services and have to make do with much slower broadband speed, sometimes even below 2 Mbps.
While the average broadband speed across UK is around 7.84 Mbps, a study conducted this year by uSwitch compared speeds across the country from January to June this year against the same period last year. The results showed that 29 % of UK postcodes (among those tested) received lesser than 3 Mbps speed, while 21 % received speed below 2 Mbps.
The study also revealed that postcodes in south east of England fare best, with five of its cities making it to the top 10 fastest broadband cities’ list. Postcodes that recorded the highest or fastest average broadband speed in the United Kingdom are:
1. London (13.362 Mbps)
2. Belfast (11.315 Mbps)
3. Liverpool (11.154 Mbps)
4. Milton Keynes (10.6 Mbps)
5. Swindon (10.415 Mbps)
6. Portsmouth (10.402 Mbps)
7. Luton (10.247 Mbps)
8. Walsall (10.025 Mbps)
9. Stockport (9.798 Mbps)
10. Southampton (9.55 Mbps)
Meanwhile, The Midlands and northern parts of the United Kingdom recorded the lowest broadband speed.
Therefore, before you sign up for broadband services with a new provider, the following are some of the tips that you should follow:
• Compare the different broadband service providers and their deals and offers in your area, along with their strengths and benefits. Check what these providers promise, against the speed that they actually deliver.
• It is advisable to check the coverage they provide, along with the average speed supplied in the area. There are many websites that are related to broadband speeds, which can help you find average speed in a postcode, using postcode availability checkers. A broadband speed checker will also help you ascertain if the speed provided meets your requirement and satisfaction.
• Assess and analyse what speed you require, before going ahead buying a new broadband connection. If you do not stream TV or use the Internet for downloading heavy files, a fairly reasonable broadband speed would be more than enough.
• In case you do not find the broadband speed satisfactory or much lower than what’s advertised, you can switch to another broadband provider without incurring any penalty.
Internet and broadband service providers are continuously working towards bettering their services by investing millions of pounds. The government has set the target of a minimum of 2 Mbps speed across the United Kingdom by the year 2015.
Nathan Morgan has been an IT professional for 14 years. His work is currently focused on Linux servers. He has encryption experience including the deployment of True Crypt and similar packages, and detailed knowledge of document scanning solutions to transform off-line archives into accessible digital data.