Broadband speed is important. The faster your connection, the easier it is to send an email or download an episode of your favourite TV show.

But there are lots of things which can affect your broadband speed. If you’ve got an ADSL connection, the main factor is the distance data has to travel.

See below for a guide explaining how this can slow up your internet connection.

You can get an estimate of the typical speeds you could receive by using our broadband line checker. Just enter your postcode and landline number to see what speed you could get.

Diagram showing copper phone cable: up to 5 km or more between a telephone exchange and a roadside cabinet, and 50 metres to 1 km from there to the user

How is line speed affected by distance from the exchange?

ADSL broadband uses your existing BT phone line. It works by sending data from an exchange through cables to a street cabinet near your home.

The data is then transported to the router in your home through your phone line. You can find out more in our guide to how ADSL works.

Your broadband speed will be slower the further away you live from the BT phone exchange.

That’s because an ADSL connection uses copper cables to connect to the exchange. The further the data travels, the greater the resistance in the cables, slowing the signal.

There are also lots of other things that can affect your broadband speed. The distance from the street cabinet to your home can be a factor. Again, the further data has to travel, the slower your connection will be.

The speed of your device and the internal wiring in your home can also affect your line speed. The time of day can also cause your ADSL broadband to slow down. During busy times like the evening your connection will be slower as more people use the network.

To get a high speed internet connection, you may want to look at switching to fibre broadband. Use our fibre optic broadband checker to find out if you can switch to one of our fibre broadband packages.

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