Everything you need to know about Contention Ratio

The Contention Ratio can have a huge impact on the speed and quality of your broadband
June 28, 2021
There are a lot of factors that can affect the speed of your broadband. These can range from the type of router you have to cable coming into your home. One of the most significant impacts on your broadband speed can be the contention ratio.

What is contention ratio?

Simply put, contention ratio is how many people are sharing the same internet cable as you. The more people who are connected the slower your broadband might be.

One of the best ways to picture contention ratio is to think of traffic on the road. It’s easy to travel down a main road at the speed limit if no one else is on the road. But as more and more people join, the slower the speed becomes. So, the more people who are sharing your bandwidth, the slower your internet becomes.

How does contention affect you?

If you have a high contention ratio then you will often experience slower broadband speeds, especially at peak times when everyone is online. This is why you’ll often find your connection slower down in the evening, as more and more people come home from work or school and connect to the internet.

Whether you’re in the middle of a Teams meeting or an online game, your internet suddenly dropping in and out can be hugely frustrating.

What is a good contention ratio?

The lower the contention ratio the better, just like with the traffic analogy – the fewer cars on the road the easier the journey.

There is no way to know what your contention ratio is (unless you have FFTP broadband). The most common contention ratio for residents in the UK is 50:1. This means another 49 households could be trying to use the same bandwidth as you!

As touch on above, the only way to know what your contention ratio is is to have full-fibre to the property (FTTP). This is when you have a full-fibre line running directly into your home, and provides a contention ratio of 1:1. This means no one else is on your bandwidth and you’ll have continuously fast speeds even at peak times.

All of our broadband packages are FTTP which is why we can guarantee you’ll always get the speeds you pay for.

Click here to find out more about Truespeed’s full-fibre broadband