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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Here's what Frustration-Free Broadband means for you

Price promise

Zero price hikes during your 18-month contract.

Our price promise is to keep phone and broadband package prices fixed for the duration of the contract from your package start date. The only exception will be any increases to VAT or any other relevant tax/levy. The monthly package price includes your monthly broadband, line rental and selected call package.

Happiness Guarantee

If you’re not completely satisfied with our service, you can leave for free within the first 60 days.

Our Happiness Guarantee is for customers signing up for an SSE fixed-term broadband and phone package bundle. They can leave their contract without early termination charges within the first 60 days, if they’re not happy with any aspect of the service they have received, and we have been unable to fix the problem.

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Stream, download or play to your heart’s content.

Unlimited Broadband is subject to our Broadband Traffic Management and Acceptable Use policies.

No upfront broadband charges

No broadband connection charge, and no postage or delivery charges. The only exception will be if you don’t have an active BT/Openreach phone line, we’ll arrange for an engineer to install one. This will cost £60 and we’ll add this charge to your first bill.