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This article explains what broadband speed you can expect, what impacts it and some tips on how to improve it.
It takes a few days for the speed and stability of your new line to settle down whilst we make sure that you get the fastest but also most stable speeds possible.
This is also the case if you have recently switched off the power to your router (turning the router off for any more than an hour restarts the line stabilisation process).
When you join we’ll tell you the range of speeds you can expect for how fast data is sent (upload speed) or received (download speed) along your line. We also tell you a minimum guaranteed speed that you should receive.
The actual speed you receive will depend on a number of factors (shown below).
The broadband speed you get will depend on your telephone line, and various factors within your home.
Speeds will vary according to your telephone line:
To make sure you get the best experience, we also balance your line speed with stability – our aim is to give you the fastest speeds while making sure that your connection is uninterrupted.
How close your home is to our broadband equipment will also affect your speed - for standard broadband, this is at your nearest telephone exchange; for fibre, this is in a cabinet near your house.
If you find that your current broadband speed is slower than you expected, it could be down to your phone line and router set up, your WiFi settings or the device you’re using.
Broadband connections today need to be able to handle multiple devices (computers, tablets, phones) connecting at the same time using data-intensive activities like video, gaming and music streaming. If you’re currently on a standard broadband plan, and want to use multiple devices and heavy streaming, the best way to significantly increase your speed is to switch to fibre broadband.
If you can hear noise on your phone line, or you're finding that calls are cutting off regularly, there could be problems with equipment connected to your line, or even a fault.
See our Home Phone - fixing faults guide for more help.
1. Broadband filters
If you've got a phone socket with an inbuilt filter (like the ones pictured below) you can skip this step. Just make sure you connect your router to this socket.
If you've got a standard phone socket (like the one below):
Make sure there's a broadband filter (see below for what these look like) connected directly to every socket that’s being used in your house. This includes sockets that are in use for telephones, TV services such as Sky, answer phones, faxes and alarm systems.
Without a filter, these other devices can cause interference on your line which slows down or stops your broadband connection completely.
If you haven’t got one, you can buy another filter. Choose an ADSL filter if you use standard broadband, and a VDSL filter if you have fibre broadband.
Please note: It can take up to three days before you notice any improvements to your connection speed or stability after correcting your filter set up.
2. Restart your router
From time to time, it can help to turn your router off, then back on again. To do this:
Please note: continually turning your router off, then back on again can appear like a connection problem which can in turn cause our systems to drop the speed of your line. So, don't do this too often, and if possible try and leave your router turned on.
3. Check your wiring
Extension cables and extension sockets can reduce the speed of your connection.
Make sure your router is connected directly to your main socket - that's the socket your phone line connects to as it enters your home (which will look like one of the images below). See our set up guide to make sure you have yours set up correctly. After around three days, you may find your connection speed increases.
If you continue to experience problems, check if your internal wiring is causing your slow speed issue.
4. Electrical interference
As well as things connected incorrectly to your phone line, there may be other sources of electrical interference in your home that could disrupt your broadband connection and speed. Try moving your router (and any phone line extension cables) a few metres away from things like:
If you think there might be a fault on your line, you can check using the BT Openreach local network status checker. Once a broadband line fault is resolved, it can take up to three days for your speed to return to normal.