Broadband Speeds Explained

Note: This page refers to Supernova services.

What speed should I be getting?

The maximum speed you get will be determined by your individual installation and can be limited by distance from the local transmitter, the type of transmitter in your area, local radio conditions, etc. Typical maximum speeds that customers get are usually between 25M and 50M.

Why would my line support a certain speed, but another line support a different speed?

For Supernova lines, radio interference, link quality issues or distance from the local transmitter can cause a limitation in the speed you can receive.

Why does the speed of my broadband vary?

Many factors can make the speed vary from time to time:

  • Busy periods on the internet (at internet exchanges and big hosting sites)
  • Sources of interference coming on at particular times, e.g. evenings when interfering equipment is active
  • The performance of your computer, e.g. RAM, hard disk
  • Background applications running, e.g. anti-virus software, viruses, Bittorrent, etc.
  • Wifi interference in your home can cause a bottleneck even though the actual broadband is working properly. (Testing speed over wifi is not accurate – you should test speeds using an ethernet cable)

Broadband Usage Explained

What do you mean by “usage”?

When you carry out any online activity, like browsing web pages, using web/cloud apps, sending and receiving emails, using a VPN, etc) this transfers data across your broadband line. This data is termed “usage”.

Are Nova Broadband packages unlimited data or not?

Simply, yes. They are totally unlimted. We do not impose any limit in the amount of data passed.

Traffic Management Policy

What is traffic management?

Traffic management is the practice of prioritising certain types of traffic over others and delaying less interactive traffic in order to maintain speed and capacity for interactive (time-sensitive) traffic. This means that during busy periods, long downloads may get reduced priority on the network than, say, VOIP phone calls, or gaming traffic. The reason we need to do this is to ensure interactive applications work well.

Why do you do it and why not turn it off?

Imagine if all of the traffic lights in a city were switched off – while you could argue that an individual journey would face no red lights, in reality there would be chaos and everything would grind to a halt. If we didn’t do traffic management for instance, there would be no QOS (Quality of Service) to protect VOIP calls and they would suffer breakups or not work at all. Similarly, gamers would get booted out of every game due to high ping times. These are just two examples. Traffic management facilitates an orderly flow of traffic on the network and maintains the best overall experience for users.

What services do you use traffic management on?

We manage traffic on Supernova broadband services. We do not manage traffic on corporate bandwidth products as these use committed bandwidths and we leave it up to our corporate customers’ IT departments to do their own QOS.

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