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My speeds are slow - what can I do?

Written by KCOM Support on 23/03/2022. Posted in Broadband.

Over the past few years, streaming services like Sky On Demand, Netflix, and Amazon Prime have become more and more popular. This puts a higher demand on the internet and the speeds offered. Unlike in some areas of the country, connections here in the Hull area are getting faster. We're offering the best fibre to the home service in the country, with Lightstream becoming available to many more customers.

Unfortunately, some of us aren't getting the speeds we should be and this can be for several reasons. If you're still using ADSL broadband and your home is far from your local telephone exchange, your Internet connection might not be able to be improved. However, if our broadband speed checker says you should be getting faster than what you are (on a hardwired connection), there are a few checks you can do yourself to try and improve your Internet speeds.

For an explanation on broadband speeds including how we manage it, see Broadband Speeds Explained.


Something to note

The KCOM speed checker is only a guide and you may receive the minimum speed within your postcode. The speed given is based on a hardwired connection, when your computer is connected to your router by an Ethernet cable.

Upload Speeds

If you have Lightstream, your upload is determined by the package you are on. This means it could be up to 50Mbps, depending on the package you've chosen.

If you have ADSL2+ Broadband rather than Lightstream, your maximum upload speed will be around 1Mbps. This is a hardware limitation and you'll see the same sort of speed on other ISPs who provide ADSL2+ Broadband.

Test your Internet speed

Once you know the average speeds for your area, you can perform a test on your internet connection to see if you are receiving the speeds you would expect for your area.


Something to note

These speed tests are used as a guide only and may be about 10% lower than your actual connection speed.

When comparing the speed test results to your average (ADSL2+ and VDSL Lightstream) or chosen (FTTP Lightstream) speeds, check that your app's settings are at Mbps, not MB/s. There will be a significant difference between the speeds shown depending on these settings - see below.

Speedtest Settings

Speedtest Mbps

Speedtest Mbs

My speeds are what's expected but browsing is still slow

If your Internet speeds are running as expected, there might be an issue with your computer or browser.


Try using a different web browser to the one you usually use and run the test again. This will help to rule out your browser. Different browsers include Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Opera.

Your PC

If your computer's getting on a bit, it might not be able to process as fast as it used to. If you're using a Windows PC, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the task manager. At the bottom of the task manager you'll see CPU Usage. If this keeps hitting 100%, this will slow down your Internet browsing. Try closing any programs that you don't need to use at that time, and see if your browsing speed improves.

Your Device

On any other device, check how many apps you have open in the background; if there's loads, this might be why your device is running slow. Try closing the ones you don't need to use at the moment, and see if your browsing speeds up.

If your speeds are slower than expected

If your speeds are lower than expected, there may be a few causes.

  • Wireless Connections
    Wireless connections are always slower than a cable connection. Try connecting your router directly to your device with an Ethernet cable, and run the speed test again to see if this improves your connection.

    If the problem does seem to be with your wireless connection, you can try moving your router to a more central location in your home, or changing your wireless channel.
  • Check Lightstream Availability
    If you don't currently have Lightstream (our superfast fibre broadband), this could give you a great boost of speed. If you've not yet checked, have a look here to see if it's available.

If you're using ADSL broadband, not Lightstream, you can also check...

  • Check your wiring - Test at NTE
    The wiring inside your house may also be affecting your broadband. You can check your broadband in the NTE test socket to see if the speeds are reaching your property.
  • Filters
    A main cause of slow Internet is the wiring inside your home. Each device such as landline phones, routers, and Sky boxes all need to be filtered from the broadband signal. To do this, you need to connect a microfilter to each phone socket in your home. 
  • Telephone Extension Leads
    The longer your line, the slower your speeds. An extension makes your line longer, and might be causing your connection speed to drop. Try connecting your router directly to your main phone socket and run the speed test again to see if this improves your connection.

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