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Speeds explained

We know how important having a fast and reliable internet connection is.

You use the internet to find the latest deals online, browse for your dream family holiday, stream the latest box sets and download films and games.

And with everyone in the house using the internet more and more, across more devices, all at the same time, you need a fast, reliable broadband connection that can cope with your family’s demands. We do everything we can to improve your broadband experience, but don’t just take our word for it – below are all the stats, facts, figures and FAQs so you can see for yourself just what’s going on.

Speeds explained

Network average speeds

The network average speed is the download speed (throughput) that 50% of our residential customers can expect to get during "peak time" (8pm-10pm). This is the overall network average and not what you should expect to see at your address.

The speed is derived from Ofcom's UK broadband performance report (Nov 2020) and data from speed tests using test lines that monitor our network performance. These speed tests are carried out using an independent internet measurement standard that assesses the performance of our actual broadband packages, which is undertaken by Samknows.


Your average speeds

The estimated range and estimated average speeds are derived from actual access line speeds within your postcode. Typically 80% of customers will achieve speeds within or above the range. We use our network-wide access line speeds and throughput along with your postcode-specific average access line speed to estimate what throughput you'll get. This is effectively the speed you'll likely get when downloading files, streaming videos etc.

The actual speed you receive can be influenced by a number of factors, such as: connecting wirelessly; the wiring in your home; the device you're using; and the website or services you're connecting to. Your service can also be affected during peak times and during major events such as TV or sporting events you may experience slower speeds.

Testing your speed

Your speeds can be affected by your device, wiring, the number of people using your service, your Wi-Fi and the service or website you're accessing.

Running the speed test will tell you your download speed, upload speed which you can compare to the minimum and maximum speed we quote for your area on the speed checker.

For an accurate test, make sure no other devices are using your internet connection and, ideally, connect to your router using an Ethernet cable before running a test (doing this over WiFi can be affected by interference).

Run a speedtest now >

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Ofcom voluntary code of practice

In accordance with the Ofcom voluntary code of practice, you have the right to cancel your contract without penalty if you receive speeds significantly lower than the minimum guaranteed and we have been unable to resolve the issue within a reasonable period. Therefore, it's important that you alert us about any issues that you experience with speeds by contacting our Technical Support team.

The code means we promise to give you the following information when you buy broadband from us:

  • Broadband speed estimates for standard broadband and fibre to the cabinet fibre connections are based on the length of your telephone line and where you live in relation to a telephone exchange
  • The speed range we provide is an estimate
  • The actual speed you receive can be influenced by a number of factors such as connecting wirelessly, the wiring in your home, the device you are using, and the website or services you are connecting to.
  • Broadband speeds can be affected during peak periods and during major events such as TV or sporting events. You may experience slower speeds during these times. If at any time you don't receive the minimum connection speed you should, please report it to our Technical Support team.
  • If you receive speeds significantly below the minimum speed we've quoted and we're unable to resolve the problem within a reasonable period, you can cancel your contract at any time with no termination fees.
Illustration of speedometer showing slow speeds.

My speeds are slow - what can I do?

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 have got faster in our network area, and with Lightstream real fibre broadband becoming available to many more customers, we're offering the best fibre to the home service in the country.

Unfortunately, some of us aren't getting the speeds we should be and this can be for several reasons. Depending on how far your home is 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.

Read our guide about how to improve your speeds.

Typical broadband speeds

Standard ADSL

  • Delivery method – ADSL
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 2-23
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 12.85

Standard Fibre (FTTC)

  • Delivery method – FTTC
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 30-33
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 31.13

Standard Fibre (FTTP)

  • Delivery method – FTTP
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 30-33
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 31.19

Superfast Fibre (FTTC)

  • Delivery method – FTTC
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 34-75
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 64.83

Superfast Fibre (FTTP)

  • Delivery method – FTTP
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 75-79
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 75.35

Superfast Plus Fibre (FTTP)

  • Delivery method – FTTP
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 200-210
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 208.22

Ultrafast Fibre (FTTP)

  • Delivery method – FTTP
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 400-420
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 415.31

Gigafast Fibre (FTTP)

  • Delivery method – FTTP
  • Actual network1 (Mbps) – 900-945
  • Average Peak Time Download Network Performance2 – 903.29

1  KCOM is currently deploying a full fibre (FTTP) network in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire. Where we use our network to deliver Lightstream broadband services the performance of our network is unaffected by distance and configured to support the speeds that we advertise. This does not mean that you will always receive these headline speeds but we do manage our network to minimise the drops in performance. In the minority of cases where Lightstream broadband is delivered using alternative network technologies (VDSL) to deliver your broadband service the performance will vary by distance. We have cited the range of actual performance that individual customers will obtain dependent on the technology their service is delivered over.

2 Average peak time (8-10pm) is the performance that 50% of our residential customers can expect to achieve for download speeds over this period of time. The speed is derived from Ofcom's UK broadband performance report (Nov 2018) and data from speed tests using test lines that monitor our network performance. These speed tests are carried out using an independent internet measurement standard that assesses the performance of our actual broadband packages, which is undertaken by Samknows.

FAQs

  • Does Lightstream full fibre broadband actually make a big difference?

    Yes. Lightstream has been designed to cope with high levels of uploads and downloads, meaning that you can say goodbye to buffering movies, webpages that take ages to load and your connection dropping out when someone else in the household goes online. It's much faster than standard ADSL / copper broadband and more reliable.


  • Is Lightstream full fibre broadband available in my area?

    You can check the current availability of Lightstream real fibre broadband on our availability page, or by searching on our postcode checker. If your area doesn't show up, please check again in the near future, as we're actively rolling out to new neighbourhoods in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire. Register your interest to bring Lightstream to your area.


  • How are network averages calculated?

    We measure our average speeds using a peak time (8-10pm) median average download and upload speed measured in the annual Ofcom UK Home Broadband Performance report. This is the speed that 50 per cent of our subscribers can achieve.


  • What are access line speeds and throughput speeds?

    Access line speed is the speed and quality of your internet and it's dependant on how far you live from the exchange, unless you're a Lightstream customer and your line is installed directly to your premises. Throughput speed will naturally be lower than your access line speed as it’s affected by factors such as the layout of your home or any interference between your router and your devices.


  • Why isn’t my broadband speed the same as the advertised speed?
    The world has moved on from households with a single computer, connected by a wire to your phone line. Smartphones, Smart TVs and tablets are now commonplace in many homes, with the average household owning more than seven internet enabled devices. This evolution has brought with it several challenges and the performance of your broadband is affected by lots of things, including: where you put your router, the number of devices you’re connecting to the internet, whether you use Wi-Fi or a wire to connect your devices, the age of your devices, the size, type and age of your house…and even other electrical appliances. This can mean that your actual speeds may vary from the advertised speed of your product, particularly at peak times.

  • How do I ensure I’m getting the most out of the internet?

    We want you to get the most out of your broadband and we’re passionate about ensuring its performance is as good as it can be, all the way from the internet to your home. To help you enjoy the best experience right from the start, we’ve put together this guide to answer some of the most commonly asked questions and provide tips on what you can do to improve things. Download our information pack to find out more.


  • What is the Broadband Speed Code of Practice?

    If you'd like to know more about Ofcom's Broadband Speed Code of Practice, you can view the document here.