When you are deciding which broadband package to sign up to, there are 2 main things you should consider.
1. How many people will be using the broadband at any one time?
The more devices connected to the broadband at any one time, the better the connection you will need to have. If you live alone and only connect one device at a time, you will not require the same type of connection as a large family who all want to connect devices to stream movies, video call with friends, online game and shop online at the same time. Assuming that streaming a movie on Netflix will use around 3Mb/s as standard, if 2 people in your household want to stream at the same time you would require a connection providing at least 6Mb/s.
2. What types of activities will you be carrying out?
It's a good idea to consider what you intend to use the broadband connection for. Some activities use a large amount of data (such as online gaming and streaming High Definition movies), whereas others use much less (such as browsing news websites and streaming television in Standard Definition).
Deciding between a capped or unlimited broadband package
When you carry out activities online, whether this is by using your broadband connection or your mobile data, you will be using data.
Provided below are examples of how much data could be used by engaging in different activities online. These are for reference only and the actual data usage will vary depending on factors such as the length of the film being downloaded, the type of content being streamed or the length of a document being downloaded for example.
You may want to consider the examples below when deciding whether you need an unlimited service.
Deciding how fast your connection needs to be
When considering how fast your connection needs to be, you need to consider how many activities will be carried out at any one time. For example if you have several members of the household online at any one time, you will require a faster connection than if you only carry out one activity at a time.
If you have a faster broadband connection you will be able to download quickly and stream video with less chance of buffering. In addition, a faster connection will support more users and more activities being carried out online at any one time.
Provided below are some example connection speeds required to stream videos on Netflix, Prime Video and Youtube. These are illustrative only and may change from time to time.
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Deciding on a broadband technology
4G Broadband uses a router to connect to the mobile network in order to receive the connectivity. It is not a suitable option for everyone as you will require a strong mobile signal where you live in order to receive a suitable connection and will be impacted by the number of other users in your area. However, for those who do not want a landline connection for their connectivity and aren't particularly heavy users it could be a good option.
Copper broadband is available to almost every household in the Isle of Man, if they wish to have it. Copper services are affected by line length, meaning those who live in rural locations close to the end of a line will suffer from a poorer connection than those closer to the exchange. If you are a light user however, this may be sufficient for your needs.
Fixed Wireless Access broadband is available in selected locations across the Island. It may be a good option for those living in rural areas in particular as it does not require a fixed line connection. It will, however, require line of sight with one of the masts to relay the signal to your property.
Full fibre broadband will probably be able to deliver the fastest broadband as it is not impacted by line length, only by contention i.e. how many users the total bandwidth for an area is shared between.The higher the contention rate, the more your internet connection is likely to be impacted by slower speeds. Your usage requirements will determine the most appropriate package for you with the top packages most likely being suited to heavy users and those who require a fast connection. Lighter users will not use these packages to their full extent. Fibre broadband is not yet available to everybody in the Isle of Man.
Satellite broadband first became available in the Isle of Man in 2020. It can be a good option for those who live in rural areas and cannot receive the connection they want from a fixed service. You may notice a delay on satellite broadband, caused by the signal being relayed between the satellite dish at your property and the satellite orbit. However, this should only be an issue if you require an instant or real time connection for activities such as real time remote monitoring or online gaming.
Page Last Updated 20 August 2020