Following an initial query from James, several members have reported issues with broadband speeds, particularly in the evening, and some who have been promised “speeds up to ……” have been disappointed. Not everyone, however, seems to be affected; although contention (the number of people using the internet at a particular time) may affect the speeds you get – and this is quite normal. Simpson Manor will soon be getting fibre optics (June 2012) for broadband delivery, which should help the situation. If you want superfast broadband, however, your ISP may want you to pay more.
What you use broadband for will obviously dictate what speeds you need. BBC iPlayer for example, needs 3500 kbps (according to their site) for HD quality and 1500 kbps for normal TV – fairly modest figures. Older computer hardware and heavyweight software will slow things down, whilst a dedicated TV or Blu Ray machine connected to the internet could give better results. A recent investment in a £56 Blu Ray machine resulted in astounding results with iPlayer for David and Heather.
Your individual ISP may also be able to help, and certainly PlusNet were very helpful recently for us providing a free new router and support in resolving a poor wireless connection. Whilst our speeds are not outstanding (around 6+Mbps download), they are consistent and sufficient for our individual needs (at the moment – fingers crossed).