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A Guide to Boosting Your Broadband Speed

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A lot turns on the strength of your broadband speed.

If you’re a business, the strength of your broadband determines how quickly you’re able to download and transfer files, how long it takes to process data, and the quality of your communication with your clients.

Faster connections will allow your team to carry out tasks efficiently, and guarantee smoother customer engagement on your contact channels. Slower connections could affect the pace of work and dampen the quality of your interaction with customers.

Unless you remedy the issues arising from slow broadband, your clients could seek better service elsewhere. This could in turn reduce your sales and shrink your revenues.

If you are struggling with less than optimal broadband speeds, you should find this article useful. Here we’ll note some of the possible causes of your slow internet speed, and present practical steps you can take to fix this problem.

First, let’s answer a few questions about broadband internet, so we get a sense of where we’re headed.

What is Broadband Speed?

Broadband speed refers to how quickly you can upload or download data with your internet connection. It’s measured in megabits per second (Mbps) and kilobits per second (Kbps). These days, we also hear talk of speeds reaching several gigabits per second (Gbps).

A kilobit is a thousand bits; a megabit is a million bits. One gigabit refers to a billion bits.

A bit is the smallest unit of data on your computer.

If your broadband speed is 20 Mbps, this means you’re able to transfer up to 20,000,000 bits of data per second over your internet connection. This is faster than a broadband speed of, say, 20 Kbps, or 20,000 bits per second.

How Fast Should Your Internet Be?

The answer to this question depends on what you’re using your internet for. If you routinely transfer heavy files between computers, you will need much faster broadband than someone who only uses their internet for simple text emails.

Some video streaming services require speeds of at least 5 Mbps. If you’re working with a speed of 50 Mbps, you could download a 2 GB file in about five minutes.

Things that May Be Slowing Down Your Broadband

Many people tend to blame their Internet Service providers (ISPs) for their slow broadband. But it’s not always the ISP’s fault; a lot of other factors could contribute to slower internet connection. Some of them are explained below.

  • Quality of Your Hardware: If your cables and router are old, they may cause your broadband to slow down. It’s advisable that you check your connection hardware and replace it with new equipment if they have aged.
  • Distance from Network Centralizer: The farther you are from your service provider’s broadband centralizer or access points, the slower your internet is likely to get.
  • Obstructions: Network signals could weaken if there are walls or other things standing in its path.
  • Spyware and Viruses: Spyware may affect your broadband speeds by interfering with your browser. Computer viruses may also multiply to weigh down computing power, and impede normal functioning.
  • Router Location: Routers need to be placed in a central, elevated location, or at least at a point that lets signals travel unimpeded to your computers. When it’s not positioned this way, broadband speeds will be lower.
  • Several Devices and Users: Access speeds may drop if there are several users and multiple devices using a single network.
  • Heavy or Outdated Applications: Applications that have not been updated can affect internet speeds. They may also slow things down if they use a lot of bandwidth.
  • Peak Time: Think about internet traffic as a stream of vehicles on a road. There’s usually more traffic during peak periods, so movement—or internet speeds –could be slower at those times. Peak period for internet connections is usually somewhere between morning and evening. Off peak periods may last between 2 AM and 7 AM, when there are fewer people using the internet.

How to Check Your Broadband Speed

You can find out what how fast or slowly your broadband is working by conducting a broadband speed test. It’s simple and takes just a few steps:

  1. Link your computer to your router with an Ethernet cable
  2. Go to your browser
  3. Search for a speed testing platform (examples include speedtest.net, fast.com, and speedcheck.org).
  4. Follow the instructions on the site you choose.

Note that the broadband speed displayed may be slightly lower or higher than what your ISP says it provides. This isn’t necessarily a problem. You only have cause to be concerned if the speed test consistently shows results that are much lower than what your ISP claims to be supplying you.

How to Speed Up Your Broadband

You could take these steps to make your broadband faster:

  1. Protect Your Connection

It might be that your internet connection has no password protection, and other users are linking up to it without your knowledge. As we noted earlier, having multiple users on your connection at once may affect your internet speed. By restricting access with a password, you could reduce the possibility of this happening.

  1. Change Your Router’s Location

Place your router in a more central location so that it achieves broad coverage. Or just make sure that the paths between it and your computers are not impeded by walls or other obstructions. Ideally, you should put it in an elevated place, like a shelf or high up a wall.

  1. Close or Remove Bandwidth-Consuming Applications

Some applications could start and run without your knowledge, consuming bandwidth and stifling access speeds. Make sure to shut down these applications, or remove them if they aren’t important to you. You should also delete old files and wipe your browsing history clean to free up space and allow quicker computing.

  1. Scan Your System with an Antivirus

Combat bandwidth-shrinking malware with up-to-date antivirus. You can set your antivirus to scan your systems for spyware or viruses on a regular basis.

  1. Change Your Service Provider

If other measures don’t help, the problem may well be from your service provider. In this case you will have to try some other ISP and see if they can offer you a faster connection.

Get Fast, Reliable Broadband for Your Business

If you’re looking to solve your issues with broadband speed, you can speak to the experts at Layer3. They will assess your needs and recommend changes besides the few mentioned here.

Layer3 also provides secure, stable and fast broadband service. Its broadband package guarantees low latency to the internet, routable IP addresses, and multiple connections to the internet backbone via submarine cables. It’s exactly what your business needs to maintain a high standard for its operations.

Find out how these features can benefit your organization. Get in touch with the Layer3 team and request a demo today.


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Ndukwe Reveals Secret of MTN’s Dominance Of Nigeria’s Telecoms Space

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Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Erstwhile Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been speaking on why foremost telecommunications services provider, MTN, has continued to dominate the Nigerian telecom space like a colossus.

Ndukwe, speaking on Tuesday as a guest at the Virtual Digital Africa VIP Leadership Series powered by Digital Africa, organisers of the annual Digital Africa Conference & Exhibitions, noted that three factors – strong financial position, good management and discipline in terms of managing resources, separate MTN from the rest of the pack.

“I think it is important to say that MTN is a particularly disciplined company right from its roots; it has always been a well-run organization. It has not had the board squabbles of its competitions. Since the first board of MTN (Nigeria), some of the board members just retired last year (2019). Meanwhile, their competitions have had various owners, various quarrels, and various issues,” he said.

Ndukwe, who is the Chairman of MTN Nigeria Board, said that nobody can be blamed for this position as the way organisations manage their affairs translates to the kind of position they occupy in the business environment.

“One thing that people don’t know also is that for the first five years of existence of MTN in Nigeria, it did not pay dividends to its shareholders. They recognized the importance of scale and were pumping in all the earnings, all the profits into building networks. They started building their own microwave links; they started building their own fibre optic links all across the country because it’s a matter of planning.

“Let it be said that technology changes, the best company today might not be the best company tomorrow. A few years ago, Facebook was not on the reckoning but today, is a much bigger company. People might not make it in terms of telecommunications service delivery because in certain countries, there is actually a certain number after which the market gets saturated. There are opportunities in the technology space; all that is needed is for operators to discover them and leverage.

“When Zoom started, no person knew it was going to scale to the level it has now reached; thanks to Coronavirus. People should continue to look for opportunities and niche markets and go there because that’s where they can scale. There are many companies that are doing very well in the financial technology space in the country too.”

Dr. Ndukwe also talked about NITEL, 5G, the Stock Market, companies he admires in Nigeria and the concept of a single African Telecoms network.


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Danbatta Inaugurates Evaluation Committee for 2020 Research Proposals

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman and chief executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has inaugurated a 15-member Evaluation Committee for the assessment of the 2020 Telecommunications based research from Academics in the Nigerian tertiary institutions.

The Committee, chaired by Prof. Mu’azu Bashir, a professor of Computer and Control Engineering and Head of Computer Engineering Department at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was inaugurated at the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja on Wednesday, September 24, 2020.

Speaking during the inauguration, Danbatta said that the initiative speaks to the Commission’s commitment towards encouraging the development of indigenous innovative solutions that impact not only the Telecom industry/ICT sector positively but also the nation as a whole.

“We want to continuously support research projects that can lead to the development of new products and services in the industry as the key enabler of the nation’s digital economy.

“We are all aware of the appreciable contributions of the Nigerian Telecommunication sector to the growth of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) over the years, which peaked at 14.53 per cent in second quarter of 2020,” he said.

Danbatta, stated that the Commission understands that funding Research and Development (R&D) is fundamental to ensuring that the needs of consumers are properly anticipated and met while enabling sustainable economic growth, adding that the Digital Economy-based Research Innovations project underlines the importance of funding R&D.

According to the EVC, for the year 2020, the request for proposals was tailored to providing innovations and solving challenges in five emerging areas of technology.

“These include innovative clean energy technology; 5G deployment in Nigeria; Internet of Things (IoT), low power Wide Area Network (WAN) technology; advanced methods of Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) management and test mechanism as well as monitoring and localisation of drones.

“While emphasising the importance of telecommunication/ICT industry to innovative developments and transformations within the economy, Danbatta tasked members of the Committee to thoroughly evaluate all submissions in order to sieve, identify and select the best from the proposals submitted.

“Members of this Committee have been carefully selected from the Academia, related government institutions and the industry based on their pedigree.

“I have no doubt in my mind that you will carry out the assignment to the highest acceptable standards,” the EVC said.

The Committee is expected to carry out the assignment and submit its report within four (4) weeks from the day of inauguration.

 


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FG Awards Cash Prizes Worth N16.5m to Winners 0f Nigeria @ 60 Challenge

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The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has awarded prizes worth N16.5million to nine Nigerians who emerged winners of the Nigeria @60 Independence Challenge.

It could be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR approved an inclusive National Independence Day Celebration programme with the theme: “Together at 60,” where it called on creative Nigerians to choose brand and come up with elements that will beautify the anniversary.

The Sub-Committee, chaired by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), minister of Communications and Digital Economy,  launched the challenge Portal on Friday, 4th September, 2020, with the aim of providing opportunity for talented, critical thinking and creative individuals or teams to produce the event slogan, photograph, and a poem.

The Jury, made up of Directors from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), evaluated the submissions based on the relevance to the theme, originality, creativity, impact and mode of presentation.

During the evaluation, a total of 3,258 entries were received, out of which 1,931 Slogan, 638 Poetry, and 689 Photography entries were submitted.

While presenting the Awards and Prizes, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Chairman of the 60th Independence Celebration Sub-Committee, Dr Pantami said that the competition was meant to create a platform for all Nigerians to participate in the diamond jubilee anniversary.

He said “Federal Government provided this opportunity for Nigerians to choose their brand and harness the power of creative minds to create other elements that will form the brand of the anniversary.

Dr Pantami congratulated the winners and charged those that participated to continue utilising their skills for the betterment of themselves and Nigeria at large, adding that “the nation will be proud of them”.

He said the Diamond Anniversary which is will last till September 30, 2021 is a period for Nigeria to celebrate its unity.

He also commended the jury that worked day and night to ensure fairness during the selection of nine winners from each category of the competition.

Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), while delivering the welcome address, described the process as first of its kind, where citizens are engaged virtually to plan the celebration.

Abdullahi said that COVID-19 pandemic has brought another opportunity for Nigerians to celebrate 60 years anniversary in style.

The Chairman of the Independence Competition Judging Committee, Director, IT Infrastructure Solution, NITDA, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi said the competition was meant to tap into the creative and innovative potential of the youths.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi- Esan represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Tope Fashedemi  commended the efforts of all participants, describing every Nigerian as a winner.

The outcome of the assessment saw the emergence of the following as second runners up: Sani Ibrahim (Slogan), Samson Mayor Emeka (Photography) and Umoru Patrick Eghiegbai (Poetry); first runners up Yusuf Muhammad Ahmad (Slogan), Leke Adebule and Team (Photography), and Mustapha Dauda Gwary (Poetry). The winners of the challenge are: Nwakuba Ezinne (Slogan), Amao Daniel Oluwadarisimi (Photography) and Kalu Rejoice Chioma (Poetry).

The winners were presented with awards and cash prizes in each category, with the second runners up getting One Million Naira each, first runners up One Million and Five Hundred Thousand Naira each, and the winners, Three Million Naira each, for their creativity and innovative contribution to the Diamond Jubilee Celebration.

The Diamond/Innovation/Change Sub-Committee is made up of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as Chairman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister Education and Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation as members, while DG NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, was later co-opted as member.

 


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