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Broadband Speeds and Our Commitment to you

At the end of July 2010 OFCOM, the telecoms regulator, announced a voluntary code of conduct for ISPs supplying broadband. This was done after many suppliers were found supplying broadband at speeds well below the ‘up to’ advertised speed. As of 1st March 2019 OFCOM have put in to place an additional code “Better Broadband Speeds Information” which states that suppliers must (at the point of sale) provide expected speed estimates during peak hours. Peak hours are defined as 8-10pm for residential services and 12-2pm for business services). There are aspects that OFCOM’s voluntary code(s) of conduct misses, so we have taken their proposals and added some additional aspects to ensure that our customers understand what they will get for the money that they pay. As a responsible ISP, we have never tried to sell something as something it’s not. Our online checker will tell you the slowest and fastest speeds you can get at your address. In the case of broadband services delivered over copper these speeds do vary depending on the distance from the green street cabinet and/or exchange and on the quality of the copper line. Our full fibre broadband products are delivered at 100Mbps, 200Mbps, 500Mbps, 900Mbps and are not affected by distance. We don’t provide different speeds for peak times because we will deliver you the same speed all the time. We are able to do this because we don’t run a congested network and we are disheartened that OFCOM accept that broadband services could be slower during peak times and that ISP’s should make consumers aware of this at point of sale. Our view is that broadband services should not slow down during peak times and that it is the ISP’s responsibility to deliver a network that can support peak time capacity and deliver the same broadband speeds all the time. If for example you have bought a 100Mbps, full fibre, broadband service from us then you should expect to get close to 100Mbps when connected directly into the broadband router with a network cable. Speed tests should not be carried out over a wireless network.

We monitor every broadband line for latency and speed every second your line is connected. This enables us to be proactive about ensuring your broadband experience is the best that it can be. We will take speed and quality fault reports seriously. We will consider packet loss and latency. We will consider previous performance and the original estimates quoted. We will advise you where we think you can improve your equipment or wiring. We will pursue fault reports with carriers where we think they are the cause of a fault. We will rectify faults that are within our control. We will offer any advice we can where there are matters beyond our control. We ask you to give us a chance to rectify issues, but if we cannot resolve the matter within 30 days you can immediately migrate broadband service to another provider with no penalty. We don’t restrict this offer to the first few months of your service with us.

We will analyse our monitoring to identify congestion and quality issues in both the carrier networks and our connections to the carrier networks. We will work closely with carriers to promptly identify and rectify issues in their network by any means necessary. We aim that our network is never a cause of any slowdown or bottleneck however, there are maximum capacities within our connections to our wholesale partners. We monitor and manage these very closely, however it is not possible to adjust this capacity instantly to accommodate short increases in traffic demands, such as for streamed sporting events or major breaking news. To allow us to handle these situations to ensure that the impact of any congestion is minimised, we use a traffic shaper to drop the largest packets when we hit our bandwidth capacity. This allows us to ensure that small packets such as VoIP and DNS queries keep moving, while streaming traffic or other TCP based data is dropped and requires re-transmitting.

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