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Low broadband and download speed

We signed up for broadband in our village in Aude and were promised between 5 and 0.25Mb. It is never above 2Mb and rarely above 1Mb. I have monitored the download speed and it is usually around 0.3 - 0.5 and occasionally 0.1... J.T.

Sadly you probably pay more for your slow broadband than those in nearby villages as they have an option to have their calls carried by their broadband so no line rental is payable.

While Skype and similar video services require a minimum of 2MB, any service with this as a maximum speed will probably suffer from buffering (where the picture ‘stutters’) because the speed will often be below that indicated. This is because landline based broadband is ‘contended’ meaning that you share your access to the service with others nearby, explaining why your speed is often less than indicated. The more people that are using it at the same time the slower it will run. So for the best speed you need to use it when most others are not, late at night or early in the morning! Not a time when most people would like to Skype friends and family

The only slight hope is if the general investment in the national network reaches you in the future. However there will be many rural areas that may not benefit. This is why satellite broadband is popular but it is more expensive and, unlike the landline service, use is not unlimited. Even so it has become fully subscribed in many areas as the need for internet connection grows all the time. There is discussion on launching new satellites but  interest at the moment is focused on the Middle East where profits will be bigger and made sooner.

As you live in the Aude there is satellite capacity, so you can consider it. However any form of video activity, Skype and films, is data hungry so will use your allowance quickly. If you are willing to download films and big files in the night there can be a free data allowance for those taking a larger package (25GB).

Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See for more information on their services in France

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