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Broadband - Broadband Guide - Contention Ratio/Contention Rate

If you are wondering what is "contention ratio" then it is basically a word for sharing. If you have seen that a broadband provider has a contention ration of "50:1" and another broadband provider has a contention ratio of "20:1" and you don't know what this means or which one is best then it is quite simple.

The "contention ratio" is the maximum number of other people you will have to share the connection infrastructure with. So a contention ratio of 50:1 would mean that the maximum number of people you could be sharing the connection with at anytime is 49 other people. If all 50 people were downloading at the same time then your download speed could drop hugely, in reality though this doesn't happen and you can enjoy much faster download speeds.

So from this you can see that a contention ratio of "20:1" should be more beneficial although for most home users you shouldn't have any problems with a contention ratio of "50:1" at the moment.

In the future though as broadband/ADSL becomes even more widely used the 50:1 contention ratio may not be enough but hopefully that issue will be addressed hopefully before or when the time comes.

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