Most broadband is delivered at speeds of up to 8Mb, though few people actually receive this in practice. New ADSL2 technology, however, will allow up to 24Mb download speeds.
There are many broadband products in the UK that promise speeds up to 8MB.
Unless you live very close to your BT exchange, it is very unlikely that you will achieve this theoretical maximum. As the broadband signal is reduced the further you are away from your exchange, most people receive download speeds around 3 – 6Mb.
There are a small, but growing, number of broadband providers that now offer download speeds up to 20 or 24Mb MB. They are using the new ADSL2 technology to deliver these higher speeds over the existing BT network.
O2 is a broadband provider that can now offer download speeds of up to 20 Mb in some areas and be, part of the O2 group offers up to 24Mb.
What is ADSL2
ADSL2 is the next generation of ADSL broadband technology. By doubling the data transfer rates of ADSL, ADSL2 can deliver download speeds of up to 24 MBs and upload speeds of 2MB.
ADSL2 compatible equipment needs to be installed in your local exchange before you can receive these speeds in your area, so it is currently available in a small number of urban areas.
When subscribing to an ADSL2 service, you will need to change your ADSL router as this will not be compatible with the ADSL2 standards.
ADSL broadband is very dependent on the quality of the connection between your house and the nearest BT exchange. The most significant factor that affects line quality is your distance to the exchange.
The longer the distance to your exchange, the more the broadband signal deteriorates reducing the actual download speeds that you receive.
ADSL2 will offer a benefit that the existing ADSL standard cannot provide – bonding of lines together. This allows you to subscribe to two or more ADSL2 accounts from the same supplier, so that these lines can be combined to increase the total download speed.
Download speeds of up to 30MB and beyond are achievable with bonded ADSL2 lines.
ADSL2 is coming to your area
Currently ADSL2 is available in only arelatively small, but growing, number of areas.
BT is slowly upgrading it’s exchanges across the country, however it will only be widely available towards the end of 2009.
With movies and TV programmes as well as more rich content becoming available on the Internet, the benefits of the increased ADSL2 download speeds are apparent.
Fierce competition from broadband providers will ensure that subscriber costs of ADSL2 will not be significantly, if at all, higher than ADSL. ADSL2 is definitely worth waiting for, unless you are fortunate to receive it in your area.