Broadband Speeds

Broadband Speeds

The UK communications regulator Ofcom uses the following definitions of speed throughout the industry:

Headline or advertised speed – This is the speed that ISPs use to describe the packages that they offer to consumers. They are often described as ‘up to’ speeds, but these are often only a guide as to the speed an ISP can provide and at what price;

Access line speed – This refers to the maximum speed of the data connection between the broadband modem and the local exchange or cable head end. This constitutes the maximum speed a consumer will be able to experience on his/her individual line;

Actual throughput (or download) speed – This is the actual speed that a consumer experiences at a particular time when they are connected to the internet. This figure is often dependent on factors such as the ISP’s network, its traffic shaping and management policy, the number of subscribers sharing the network and the number of people accessing a particular website at a particular time.

Average throughput (or download) speed – This is an average of actual throughput speed for each different broadband product offered by an ISP.

There are a number of factors that will affect the speed of connection delivered over your DSL service, for this reason the speed of your Broadband service can never be guaranteed.

Manx Telecom offer both VDSL Ultima, Ultima Plus and ADSL2+ Broadband services which offer a range of products which are priced based on a monthly through-put of data rather than the line speed, for example 15 Gigabytes of data per month. This is the amount of data used when browsing web sites, using email etc, rather than the speed of your connection/downloading.

Please note that no refunds or compensation will be given relating to the speed of your Broadband connection when it is within service specifications.

The speed at which you connect/download will vary significantly due to a range of factors, including:

  • The distance of your home/office from our local exchange or remote equipment – the longer the line, the slower the speed.
  • The number of other people online at anyone time – because the broadband network, and the Internet in general, is a shared service, speeds are slower at times of peak use. Customers who connect at higher speed will often find that their download speeds during busy periods will be comparable to customers who connect at lower speeds.
  • The specification of equipment and wiring in your home or office, including routers, PCs, laptops, etc. Poor wiring or older equipment can reduce the speed by over 50%.
  • Electrical interference 'noise’ – eg, from fluorescent lights, microwaves and vacuum cleaners.

Correct Setup

While it's not always possible, it is best to not use any form of extension lead between your router and the telephone socket. This includes hardwired extension sockets as these are still just extension leads. The further that your Broadband signal has to run the more interference there will be and as such the slower the connection will run. A small increase in line noise can cause major problems, so it is always worth trying to run from the main telephone socket without any extension leads.

Filtering

It is very important to ensure that you correctly use filtering on your telephone line to ensure that there is no interference on your Broadband service.

Ultima Plus & Ultima Broadband

If you subscribe to Ultima or Ultima Plus a Manx Telecom engineer will have installed a specific socket for your Broadband service. You should not use any other filtering on your line, filtering is performed by this socket. If you use filters in any other socket on an Ultima line you will be 'double-filtering' and this can seriously affect the quality of the service you receive.

ADSL2+

As ADSL2+ is a wires-only service, meaning no engineering visit is made to provide Broadband, you need to ensure that all equipment attached to the phone line is connecting through an ADSL filter (see our Filter Troubleshooting page for further information). Unfiltered equipment (Such as telephones, fax machines, answering machines, cordless telephone base units, alarm systems, surge protectors, Set-Top Boxes, dialler boxes, literally anything attached to the telephone line) can interfere with the Broadband reception of your router. If you are in doubt whether a piece of equipment attached to the telephone line is causing a problem, simply disconnect all devices (except the router) and try your Broadband connection again.

Bringing you the best possible service

In any communications network, there are peak periods of use. Road networks are busiest when people travel to and from work; at these times traffic moves slower. The internet is no different; there are significantly more people online between 6pm and midnight, which impacts on data speed. Our networks are dimensioned to minimise this reduction in speed, but we can never guarantee you’ll achieve the same speed in peak times, as you do in off-peak periods. Using the same analogy, our ADSL service could be viewed as a major A road, VDSL as a dual carriageway and VDSL Plus as a four lane motorway, the latter two better able to cope with more traffic.

Broadband is a 'Rate-Adaptive' service which means that each time you connect it will automatically connect at the fastest possible, stable connection speed based on all the factors previously mentioned.

If there are problems with your own equipment and/or wiring, one of our engineers can visit your home/office to resolve them, but there is a charge for this service.

If the Broadband service doesn’t meet your bandwidth expectations, we have a range of premium services that may better match your requirements – just call us on 624 624 for details and prices.

The most common reported faults to our service centre can be prevented or resolved without having to call us by following the guides and advice on our website.

Test Your Broadband Speed

You can test the speed of your Broadband connection by using our Bandwidth Speedtest tool.

Security

Now you have an always-on connection you should secure your PC or Mac from viruses, hackers and other problems. A software firewall which allows you to block access to your PC from outside sources (and can protect the rest of the internet if you get a virus), and an anti-virus scanning application would be a minimum.  Some operating systems (e.g. Windows Vista and 7) have firewall software built-in so ensure you have that option enabled. We would also recommend that you consider running an anti-spyware scanning application too.

Some useful links to examples of these applications are as follows: