Broadband download and upload speeds explained

There are two different types of broadband speed:

Speed of the connection to your Hub

Also known as your access line speed, or sync speed.

If you're a NOW Brilliant Broadband Member, this is the maximum speed between your local telephone exchange and your Hub. This speed depends on how far away you live from the exchange.

If you're a NOW Fab Fibre or Super Fibre Member, distance to the exchange isn't important. However, the distance from your home to your local street cabinet (usually green) can affect your connection speed.

You can find out more about this in our article on underlying broadband technology.

Speed on your devices

Also known as your throughput speed.

This will be lower than the speed into your Hub, as it's affected by factors such as the layout of your home, whether you're using a Wi-Fi connection and the number of devices connected to your network.

More infoBroadband speed - guide to technical terminology



You can check your access line speed in just a few steps. Please make sure you're at home when you run this test.

  1. Open a new browser window and type into the address bar, then press Enter.
  2. When prompted, enter the username admin and the password nowtv.
  3. Once signed in, select Maintenance from the options at the top.
  4. You'll find your access line speed in the Modem section, labelled as DownStream Connection Speed.

There are lots of websites that measure the speed on your device for free. Enter 'Broadband speed test' into a search engine on the device you'd like to test, choose a website and follow the instructions.

Your broadband speed affects how quickly you can do activities online, such as browse the internet or download shows. The table below gives some common examples.

 Brilliant Broadband
(average speed 11Mbps)
Fab Fibre
(average speed 36Mbps)
Super Fibre
(average speed 63Mbps)
1 album/10 songs
(5MB per song)
25 sec11 sec5 sec
200 photos
(1MB per photo)
1 min 40 sec42 sec21 sec
1 TV show
3 min 23 sec1 min 25 sec43 sec
1 movie
7 min 14 sec3 min 3 sec1 min 31 sec

Not getting the Guaranteed Minimum Download Speed we promised when you became a NOW Broadband Member? First, try our online technical checks to test your line and find out about network issues.

If our checks don't improve your broadband speed, just get in touch by phone to speak to an advisor.

NOW Broadband subscribes to Ofcom's Voluntary Code of Practice on broadband speeds. So if we're unable to provide the minimum guaranteed speed we promised you within 30 days, you'll have the right to cancel your NOW Broadband contract early without paying any termination fees.


Slow broadband?

Check your service status for network updates and troubleshooting tips.


Thinking about upgrading your membership?

If you're a Brilliant Broadband Member, upgrading to Fab Fibre or Super Fibre will improve your download and upload times and your connection. Get in touch by phone to upgrade.

Alternatively, NOW Powered by Sky offers faster, more reliable broadband with a full fibre connection. Find out if it's available in your area.

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