Search form


Explaining Advertised vs. Real Speeds

Explaining Advertised vs. Real Speeds

Advertised speeds are rarely, if ever, possible to achieve. For downloading, rates vary depending on how far the home connection is from the service provider, how many users on the network and other factors. Providers can’t predict exact speeds for a location and therefore speeds are often advertised in a range. Some reasons why a person might not get the advertised transfer rate include:

  • Time of day they access the network; during peak time the network can only handle so much data
  • The distance they are from the provider equipment—in most cases, the closer to the provider equipment the faster the data will transfer
  • The type of broadband connection
  • Equipment or programs installed (i.e., firewalls, wireless adapters, outdated computer technologies) can impact access

Running a speed test and contacting the service provider can help a user get the service being paid for.

To run a speed test visit the Connect Iowa website at

Source: Information from Wisconsin’s Broadband Reference Guide produced by: WI Public Service Commission, UW-Extension Madison, and the Center for Community Technology Solutions, January 2014

Printed from the website on October 21, 2020 at 10:24am.