Ten gigabit home broadband is being tested in a flat in the former athletes village (now called East Village) across the Olympic Park. No copper wires here! This is fast enough to download an HD film in 4 seconds. A gigabit is 1000 times faster than a megabit – which is how normal broadband is measured.
Our BT Infinity broadband in Bow has been very good, but has lately been prone to going down. It pretends it’s on with all the lights as normal, but nothing in the house connects to the internet. After switching it on and off, sometimes unplugging all the wires, it eventually comes back up and runs for a week before misbehaving again. Fortunately I also have a 3g Mifi (pictured) which is like a flat computer mouse. It contains a phone card and a battery. This drives computers and tablets, just like a wired modem. It has limited umph and needs a reasonable mobile signal, but it always gets the job done and plays videos OK. I bought it 2 1/2 years ago for use on the go.
Today I thought I’d check out our broadband speeds at home, and this is what I found.
My computer connected to a BT box by wire gave 76Mbps (megabits a second) download, 17Mbps upload. In the past we were regularly getting 70Mbps, which I thought was brilliant. You can test your broadband speed by visiting this website. The website also lets you see what others are achieving nearby. It was giving 26Mbps download as the average for Bow East.
I also got 63Mbps download and 17Mbps upload on a tablet using the BT Infinity wifi.
The little Mifi (mobile wifi) checked out at 8 Mbps download and 3.6 Mbps upload out in the wider world, which was still enough to play sharp looking video on the France24 news channel. This has cost £20 a month for 20 gigabytes of downloads a month. Since I normally only use about half of that, I did wonder about getting rid of BT, and all the fraudulent phone calls they send. When I bought the Mifi my existing mobile phone contract came with 2 gigs a month of tethered wifi, which drove computers and played video well enough, giving me the idea that mobile was good enough.
Now I have a 4g phone with 12 gigs a month of wifi data to drive computers etc. This tested out at 28Mbps download and 11Mbps upload – very respectable.
Locally the most expensive packages on Vodafone and BT offer download speeds up to 76Mbps. Other providers like Post Office, Sky, and TalkTalk offer up to 17Mbps download. How does your broadband compare?