Why does my cable broadband have slow speeds?

  • Cable broadband problems can arise affecting internet speed
  • Variables affecting speed include router, server limitations, traffic congestion, etc
  • An ADSL2+ broadband connection may end up faster!

Cable broadband is not available in nearly as many Australian locations as fixed-line ADSL or ADSL2+ internet connections, but if you can get cable, this broadband is often capable of much faster speeds. Cable broadband runs on a coaxial cable, the same kind often delivering Pay TV services like Foxtel to your home. Cable broadband is usually sold with 8Mbps, 30Mbps, or in rare instances, even 100Mbps speeds.

As ADSL2+ runs at speeds of up to 24Mbps, cable broadband can often seem like a valid or better alternative for consumers wishing to have the best broadband speed possible. However, like most types of broadband currently available, be it fixed line or mobile wireless, problems can arise affecting your internet speed. Reportedly, a lot of these issues will be eliminated with the implementation of the fibre-to-the-home NBN, but until then consumers need to be aware they will often not receive the broadband speed they anticipated, and of which they are paying for.

Cable broadband has a multitude of variables that can affect the speed finally entering your home’s computers. Cable broadband providers like Optus (1300 137 897) and Telstra BigPond state in their clauses average cable speeds will be slower than advertised. Factors like your router, server limitations, network configuration, traffic congestion created by numerous users, hardware, software, member premises interference and the type of Optical Network Terminal (if applicable) are all noted as reasons a cable broadband connection may slow down. If you are using a Wi-Fi enabled modem then download speeds can also be slower when compared to devices connected via Ethernet cable.

ADSL and ADSL2+ broadband are affected by similar factors, and most people are very aware of the number of issues often arising with Mobile Wireless broadband, such as drop-outs, black spots and slow connections due to network congestion at the mobile phone tower.
One point to note with fixed line connections is some ISPs will adjust your connection’s ‘line profile’ to have a faster download speed. This may cause the connection to be less stable overall, but it may be worth the adjustment. Broadband providers can also increase your upload speeds, or change the line profile to make it more stable. It’s always worth making that call.

If you find your cable broadband speeds are simply not suitable, we suggest trying an ADSL2+ broadband connection through a copper telephone landline. This latter type of broadband can be very quick, and it’s often cheaper than cable broadband because of more intense competition and a much larger number of providers.

Check out the Compare Broadband ‘Best Cable Broadband Plans’ page to see the best offers currently available in the Australian cable broadband market.