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What to do about a slow broadband in France

My broadband is slower than my neighbour’s, particularly having a weaker wifi signal. We use the same supplier. What can I do? 

If your neighbour’s property is close to yours, there is no obvious reason. Assuming the speed test results for both are the same, here is what to check.

Make sure your modem is in the best location. Do not put it in a kitchen where white goods and microwaves disrupt the wifi. Also try to avoid locations close to TVs, mirrors, DECT cordless phones, baby alarms and remote surveillance equipment as all these can degrade your wifi signal.

Keep in mind that thick stone and brick walls, as well as metal partitions, all disturb wifi signals, which will normally reach 50-100m. If possible, choose a central point in your house and locate the modem at least 1m above the floor. Modems such as SFR’s give the strongest signal if they are positioned vertically. If you need to access the service a long distance away from the modem, perhaps in a gite, a wifi extender should be considered. These are available from most electrical outlets.

If none of these improves the signal, it may be that the wifi channel you are using is congested with many nearby modems using the same one. All modems have multiple channels to choose from but are normally factory pre-set using one or two from the range. Your supplier can check this for you remotely while you are on the phone and, if necessary, move you to a less busy channel.

Do remember that connecting your devices using the ethernet cable will always give a faster speed, but many can be connected only using wifi. Each one that is connected will reduce some of the speed, so disconnect those not being used if speed becomes an issue.

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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