Tips on getting a better broadband speed

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Four top tips have been provided for West Sussex broadband customers who are unhappy with the speed their are getting.

The information comes as a new report reveals West Sussex is way down the list for average speed downloading.

West Sussex as a region has an average download speed of 43.2Mbps, compared to England’s total average speed of 43.6Mbps, according to the latest Ofcom report.

A new report from broadbandchoices.co.uk shows that the county ranks 12th in the UK.

The report says: “Collating information from broadbandchoices’ comparison service and the broadbandchoices speed tester, we’ve identified that West Sussex can get optimum download speeds of 362Mbps.

“However, not every house or business will be able to receive those speeds, so we recommend using a postcode checker to see what you can get at specific properties.”

Mark Pocock, home comms expert at broadbandchoices.co.uk said: “Whilst the research gives a broad stroke picture of the UK, a lot of consumers are still in the dark when it comes to the actual service and speed they will personally receive until after they have signed up for a deal. Broadbandchoices has been lobbying for some time to inform consumer purchasing, using things like the postcode checker tool, to ensure that in the face of different reports about performance they will get a clear and honest picture of the position their home or business is in.

“The chancellor has previously likened broadband to the modern equivalent of what roads were in the 20th century, calling it the ‘network infrastructure that will make this country work’ and this is not hyperbole. Access to technology is a staple requirement and reliance on high-quality connectivity will only increase. There was good news in the Autumn statement that there will be a £200 million investment into superfast broadband that will start by targeting some of the most poorly served areas in the county including the borderlands and the Welsh Valleys, will have a massive impact on those communities.

“Whilst this is positive, we need to continue to keep the pressure on for this to be prioritised by councils and decisions makers to put a real focus connectivity in order to protect the productivity of the UK workforce. We analysed almost four hundred UK council websites and Ofcom performance statistics, and there was evidence that many councils have missed their own targets and deadlines for improving broadband connectivity in their areas. Whilst there are slow improvements to the overall infrastructure, there are big improvements households can make to have a significant impact on their speeds now by knowing what they can have and shopping around for the best service.”

Mark Pocock has also offered his top tips on getting a better speed in your home:

- Know your speed

The first thing you need to do is test your internet speed with a speed checker, like the one on-site at https://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/tools/speed-test (please note this does require providing an email address and postcode). This will tell you how fast your internet connection really is. You can then use it again to test your speed when you’ve made your changes and see if there’s any impact.

- Secure your Wi-Fi

Make sure you put a password on your wifi and make sure it isn’t easy to guess to avoid your neighbours taking advantage of your wifi and slowing you down. Your router may already have a password set, most providers will now automatically supply one, but there will be an option to switch it to something easier to remember and share with those you don’t want to access it by going into your router settings.

- Move your router

Contrary to what you might think, it is actually possible to Feng Shui a better signal. Whilst odds are we have all lifted our phones over our head in pursuit of better receptions, you are less likely to see people waving their router around. The rules are, it’s better to have it higher up and away from anything that might interfere with the signal – think things like baby monitors and microwaves. Try not to surround it by metal objects, and – bizarrely as it may sound – wifi can reflect, so keep them clear of mirrors and reflective surfaces. Thick walls are also a potential obstacle, with the denseness of the concrete itself, and any steel joists having a potential signal sapping effect.

Switch

If you find that your connection is still slow, switching to another provider is possibly the best solution. Companies should be able to do a line test and give you an indication of the speeds you can expect to see before you sign up - and if they don’t deliver, you may have the right to cancel your contract without penalty.