For many of us, the modern way of life depends on a good, solid broadband connection throughout the day. Whether you’re downloading a song, checking your e-mails or simply browsing the web, the chances are you are at some point dependant on a home broadband connection and its fluctuating download speed.
So, there’s not a lot more irritating than the moment your broadband internet connection, disconnects or slows to a crawl. It’s a problem that many of us experience, some even on a regular basis and BT even address the issue in their latest round of home broadband commercials. So, leading UK broadband comparison site, Top10.com led their investigation into just how much the time of day really affects our broadband speeds.
Let’s cut to the chase. Their investigation returned an astonishing figure of a 33% fluctuation in broadband speeds throughout the day. Over a 24-hour period broadband speeds will vary by up to a third on average, causing disruptions and indeed uncertainty whilst using your connection. A quarter of a million speed tests were carried out on its website over a 90 day period in order to calculate the average speeds at each hour of the day for customers of every major ISP in the UK, recording peaks, lows and fluctuations.
The good news is, for the nocturnal browsers among us, as the analysis predictably shows that the fastest time of day for web browsing is 2AM, when the average connection speed across the UK is a reasonable 7Mb. Peak time? The one time you really want to avoid if possible is 8PM where a relatively poor speed of 4.73Mb was clocked on average. However, this was measured across a range of different connection speeds with many homes remaining with a basic 2Mb connection, whilst other homes can achieve maximum connection speeds of up to 50Mb at present.
Fair enough, but ultimately you will still not receive your maximum connection speeds, which can be fairly irritating to say the least. Alex Buttle from Top10.com analogised, “Broadband is a bit like a motorway — speeds get slower at peak times because everyone’s trying to use it at once. But the broadband speed you get also depends to some extent on your broadband provider’s policy towards traffic shaping. Some broadband providers actively “throttle” broadband speed to ensure a consistent broadband experience for all consumers on their network.”
“Some people view traffic shaping or “throttling” as a good thing because it helps manage demand and discourages heavy users from dominating the network. But other people, especially those who want to play games or watch TV online, get annoyed because their service can slow to a crawl.”
“Our data shows how much provider speeds vary — but you need to check whether this will negatively affect how you use the web, or if it’s something you can live with.”
So I guess that is really what it comes down to in the end. Just living with it. There is not a great deal we can do about it these fluctuating broadband speeds as long as it remains the peak time. ISP’s can do their best and investigations can be carried out, but ultimately despite advances in landline broadband and the forthcoming improved 4G mobile internet broadband it’s an almost insolvable issue until bandwidth becomes limitless. An unlikely eventuality.
Via – Top10.com