Broadband Contention Ratio

What is Broadband Contention Ratio?

Broadband Contention Ratios is the total number of households sharing the available bandwidth on an internet/data connection.

The lower the number, the better the quality and speed of the connection.

A contention ratio of 60:1 means that a maximum of 60 households will be sharing the Internet Service Providers (ISP) connection.

The standard contention ratio was 50:1 for home broadband and around 20:1 for business broadband but BT now report that those figures are no longer accurate.

When do you get the most internet contention?

Contention typically increases during peak times, e.g. evening and weekends when there are more people using the internet.

What is the internet contention Ratio on my Broadband?

Internet Service Providers don’t publish or advertise Broadband connection ratios.

Instead of publishing the Contention Ratio, they provide the minimum to maximum download and upload speed.  Contention Ratio is taken into consideration when they provide this estimate.

Broadband Contention Ratio Checker Calculator

There are no broadband ratio checkers or calculators available.

The best and most factual information available to help you understand the impact or slow down of your internet connection during peak time is the Ofcom home broadband report (published 8th May 2019).

Extract of the relevant section below:

Source: Ofcom Variations in Download Speeds

ADSL connections are more impacted by contention. This is no longer a huge problem because the number of households migrating to faster cable and fibre broadband option is increasing year on year.


The is relevant to broadband services offered by all UK internet service providers which includes BT, TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky, Vodafone, Plusnet, Direct Save, EE, John Lewis, NOW Broadband, Origin, Post Office, SSE, Shell Energy Broadband,  iTalk, onestream, Ask4, Zen Internet, KCOM, XLN Telecom. etc

Check out our pick of the top 6 broadband connections and deals.

Video explanation of Internet Broadband Congestion

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