So you’re paying for a 100Mb/s fibre broadband but when you run a speed test online you’re not getting anywhere near that. What gives? In this article we break down different types of internet connections and why you might not always get the fastest speeds advertised by your provider.
There are many reasons why you might not be getting the speeds advertised when you perform a speed test on your connection (faults on the line, for instance). However, in general, the speed of your connection mainly boils down to one main factor where fibre broadband connections are concerned - whether you have a Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) versus a Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connection.
What is a Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) connection?
The most common fibre broadband packages in Ireland offer Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) which generally offer speeds of up to 100Mb/s. In this type of connection, a high speed fibre optic cable runs from the nearest telephone exchange to a cabinet on the street (you’ll spot them as they are recognisable for their green colour) near your property. From there the connection transfers to a shorter copper cable which runs from the cabinet to your property.
The problem with these types of connections is that the copper cable (depending on the length it has to travel to get to your home and any obstructions in its path) will generally slow down the speed of your connection considerably. When companies advertise speeds of 100Mb/s, they are generally referring to the maximum speed that your line is capable of rather than the constant.
What is a Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connection?
Some premises around the country are fortunate enough to have Fibre-to-the-Home connections which have the capacity to deliver much higher speeds, going as high as 1000 Mb/s in some cases. This is where the fibre-optic cables run directly to your home with no interruptions.
Unfortunately, the majority of the country doesn't have access to these kinds of speeds just yet although this is changing slowly. For instance, SIRO (a joint venture of Vodafone and ESB) has brought FTTH infrastructure to selected regional communities dotted around the country. Speeds of up to 1,000 Mb are available from the operator through retailers such as Digiweb and Vodafone and in the near future, Sky. Check and see if your area is covered here.
Virgin Media however, widely offers broadband speeds of up to 360Mb/s in various urban areas around Ireland. 360Mb/s speeds are usually fast enough for heavy internet users to carry out any tasks that they need to undertake.
Is there any way to speed up my connection?
Yes, there are quite a few different steps you can take to improve your connection speed which you can find summarised in the following video:
None of these helping? We have an additional few handy tips in our 13 Tips to Speed up Your Broadband Connection article.
Still not satisfied?
If you’ve tried just about everything you can think of to speed up your connection and it’s still not cutting it, it could be time to switch providers. The good news is, finding a new supplier and switching couldn’t be easier with our comparison calculator. Compare and switch broadband providers now.