Broadband speed

There are regional differences in the availability of broadband connections, which means, for example, that all speed alternatives are not available in all areas. The connection speed is entered in the subscriber connection agreement. The connection speed must be as agreed and advertised. The connection speed can be tested with speedometers.

The broadband connection speed that can be achieved depends on the

  • used transfer technology (e.g. fibre, xDSL, GSM, 3G)
  • user's distance from the concentrator in fixed networks and distance from the base station in mobile networks
  • user's location (mobile networks)
  • condition and quality of the real estate building's internal network (fixed broadband connections)
  • network load
  • user's terminal device.

Reporting speed in agreements

An agreement must include at least the following facts on the connection speed:

  • minimum, normally available and maximum speed in the case of fixed broadband
  • estimated maximum speed in the case of mobile broadband
  • advertised connection speed.

If there is a data quota, the agreement must describe how exceeding the quota affects the connection speed.

Besides speed, broadband use may be affected by latency which is typical for the technology. If latency may in practice have an impact on the use of the connection, this must be explained in the agreement. For instance, latency of satellite broadband affects the use of applications that require real-time input.

In its opinion regarding the reasonable method of indicating the connection speed of internet access service, FICORA has specified how the speed should be indicated in the agreement.

Speed in fixed networks

In fixed networks, the broadband speed is primarily affected by the used transfer technology. Both a fibre-optic and cable network enable very fast connections, whereas xDSL connections provided in a telephone network have more limited maximum transfer speeds.

In addition to the transfer technology, the connection speed depends on the terminal device's distance from the concentration in the network. When the distance becomes longer, the achievable speed becomes slower. The connection speed variation also depends on the number of persons using the network at the same time. This can cause that a single connection slows down or disconnects.

Speed in mobile networks

The connection speed in mobile networks depends, in particular, on the available network technologies in the area and the technology of the user's terminal device:

  • the 4G network enables a high-speed connection in suitable circumstances
  • the 3G network can be used in a wider area, but the highest speeds are slower
  • the GSM network is the most comprehensive network, but the data transfer speeds are very limited

Speed in different networks also depends on the number of persons using the base station at the same time. The speed drops in the base station area as the number of users grows. The data transfer speed is also affected if the user's location changes because the signal power varies when the coverage area changes.

Testing the speed

The operator must have a method for measuring the quality of the connection. For this purpose, several operators provide their customers with a free speedometer on their websites. The meter shows the connection's download and transfer speed at the time of the measurement. The results may vary. Therefore, the speed should be measured at different times.

If your broadband connection slows down

If your broadband connection becomes slower, it may result from network disturbances. However, you should first make sure that the lower speed is not caused by the terminal device. For example, you should check that there are not several applications open on the terminal device sharing the capacity. The connection speed can be tested by using speedometers available on the operators' websites. If the speed of the broadband connection does not correspond to what has been agreed, and the problem is not temporary, you should contact your operator. You may be entitled to a compensation for the error.

More information on network disturbances is available on the page:

Network disturbance

Disconnecting connections

A functioning broadband connection can be disconnected if there is a temporary disturbance in the network. The operators inform of the disturbance on their websites. The operators inform also FICORA of severe network disturbances.

The operator can disconnect the connection also due to reasons related to information security if the operator notices that the subscription sends malicious traffic to the network. Once the malicious program has been removed from the terminal device, the connection can be restored.

More information on network disturbances and information security is available on the page:

Network disturbance

Information security

Poor coverage

If the mobile network coverage is poor and the broadband connection speed is slow for this reason, the quality of the connection can be improved with an affordable desk antenna or, if necessary, an outdoor antenna.

More information on coverage and how to improve it is available on the page:


Right to broadband

In Finland, everyone is entitled to obtain to home or place of business a functioning broadband subscription with a connection speed of at least 1 Mbps. Further information can be found here:

1 Mbps broadband

Key words: Internet , Telephone , Broadband , Mobile phone , Networks , Speed , Subscription

Updated 21.03.2017

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