Slow Internet Speeds – Why You Are Not Getting Advertised Speeds

“Up to speeds of’ the ads read. The numbers are compelling, especially next to the low prices. However, many internet users do not receive the ‘as fast as’ or ‘up to speeds of’ speeds that are advertised by internet service providers. Predicting internet speeds is impossible due to many variables; therefore companies advertise the highest possible speeds to attract potential customers. Times with the high internet usage, like 5:30pm to 7:30pm in residential areas, experience much slower internet speeds then the theoretical speeds that companies advertise.

One factor for slow internet is the Internet service providers’ use of a device called a DSLAM, (Digital subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) that allows multiple users to share a connection to the internet.  They work by routing incoming DSL connections to the Internet and combine multiple signals into one. DSLAMS were designed to help route incoming and outgoing traffic efficiently.

The ideal ratio for a DSLAM is twenty to one. However, Internet companies frequently surpass this, causing congestion which then contributes to slower speeds. During times of high usage, (take the time right after everyone returns from work and school in the evening) the twenty user threshold is maxed out and users experience slower speeds. 

One way to prevent slowing speeds is adding dedicated service, though, this is more of an option for business and it does come at a premium price. Instead of sharing a connection with multiple addresses, a direct connection is made from the end user to the internet service provider. This connection guarantees bandwidth availability; preventing slower speeds due to congestion.

Other contributing factors that slow internet speeds are software, outdated hardware, such as routers, and bad cables. This article explains more about other slow internet factors.  

The Future

Fiber connectivity is promising. Preston Thornburg, Vice President of Networks Unlimited, says that Western Colorado will have more fiber availability over the next four to six years.  Fiber speeds range from 10mbps to 1gbps with forecasts of 100mbps in the near future. Fiber is currently in areas of higher population density. Though the cost of fiber itself has become more affordable, the cost to bury fiber remains expensive. Because of this expense companies must justify the cost by supplying to a large number of people, leaving smaller markets at a lesser priority.

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Posted on May 23, 2014 and filed under IT, Business IT.