Our broadband connection has been inexplicably slow for a number of days, to the point of being unusable. Of course broadband support is never helpful and says it is all our fault. After many conversations they suggested I should run the speed test at speedtest.bt.com.

I had already run a couple of other speed tests from different websites, however immediately after this test my broadband speed was restored. Broadband support is telling me this was 'purely coincidental', however I don't buy it and am interested in how this 'test' could have had the 'coincidence' it did?

  • I wish this hadn't have been migrated, I was after a technical answer.
    – Mr Shoubs
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 9:24
  • The technical answer is "it was pure coincidence" or "your provider is mucking with your connection speeds" (see Chop's comments to his answer).
    – Chris S
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 12:28

4 Answers 4


I can say with an astonishing level of confidence that it was purely coincidental.

  • I wonder if it does any recofiguration on the exchange software, or resets something. the chance of this being coincidental is redicuiouly small. I was after a techincal answer as to why or why not.
    – Mr Shoubs
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 9:21
  • 2
    Ok, have to give myself away here to some extent, I have the code for that site right in front of me, it does NOTHING that could possibly directly impact your broadband speed directly. That said some very naughty non-BT broadband providers cache speedtest responses and/or temporarily move you to a different QoS class if it spots you using certain speedtest sites. It's cheating (heavily) but has zero to do with the code you mentioned ok.
    – Chopper3
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 9:54
  • Interesting. I am using a non-BT provider. All I know is my limit ran out and they capped the speed, I topped it up, it ran fast again for 24h, then slowed down again and the new limit wasn't reached. I ran the test and it went back up to speed again.
    – Mr Shoubs
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 10:25

Try to download something from a server that you know will be fast, educational FTP mirrors for Ubuntu etc.. it'll atleast show you if they are giving you great oceans of speed when you do speedtest and limit everything else.


I experienced this as well. With Verizon. My downloads were going slower than I expected, so I went to speedtest.net and ran a test. As I suspected, my speed was slower than I was supposed to be getting. I tried testing with several other servers and each one resulted in a slightly higher speed until I was close to the bandwidth that I was paying for. Magically, my downloads went faster. It seems that if I'd run a speed test every few days, I'd have higher download rates.

I don't have enough evidence to prove that something unethical was going on, but I do suspect.

I say 50/50 that it was a pure coincidence.


The provider was messing with connection speeds - having ran other speed test tools, I get different results. I complained and they were surprised they were caught out and said I was on an old contract and they are now upgrading me for free.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .