Even on the simplest of installs, we discover issues which severely reduce the attainable bandwidth on the quickest network and broadband services. In this example, the fix was actually easy and could have been averted.
Attaining Superfast Broadband Speeds
A client’s premises contained a few areas which received no WiFi coverage. All WiFi units/routers on site were only 150Mbps so we replaced these with 300Mbps UniFi WAPS (Wireless Access Points/routers) and added some extra units to cover the areas which were struggling for a signal. Whilst on site, we arranged for a 300Mbps fibre optic line to be installed from the street. Once the internal work was completed, the client should have had excellent WiFi coverage and superfast broadband speeds but we quickly discovered a network issue when the UniFi units rated at 300Mbps were only achieving 65Mbps download speeds.
WiFi Network Investigation
We began to investigate why the network and WiFi speeds were so slow even though they had a superfast fibre broadband connection and quickly discovered a bottleneck in the network which ran on a single Cat6 cable that had been poorly installed. Below is a simple diagram of the network which is a fairly standard setup for most small networks.
Poorly Installed Cables
As you can see, the Cat6 cable is the backbone of the network. Because Cat6 is rated at 1 Gigabit connect and recently 2.5 and 5GBASE connections, in this setup it is not a major concern that it is the only connection to the router. What we discovered was that it was poorly installed by another contractor. Because the Cat6 cable was terminated poorly and not to industry standard, the connection from the router to the network switch was only working at 100mbps even though it is rated at 1,000 Mbps.