The connection to our UK servers from your location is subject to traffic on the internet, which can hit roadblocks along the way. Data through a VPN tunnel is also encrypted for maximum security, which slows things down a little. The speed you get is only as fast as the slowest connection on route. Very slow speeds are usually temporary and can change a bit like the weather.
Our servers are never running at more than 70% of capacity and we constantly monitor usage, and bring new servers online when required.
To stream video you will need around 500kbs but at 400bps you should be able to download from iPlayer reasonably quickly, listen to radio and use Skype. Channel 4 on Demand uses a quicker system for streaming and you might want to try their service.
You can test your connection speed at : http://www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk
We also have a tip for iPlayer. Try using the "more downloads' function combined with a download manager www.freedownloadmanager.org The files are smaller ( windows media player format) and the download manager manages the whole process, opitmises the download so it is faster and even if the line drops it picks up where it left off automatically.
You can also try the following to decrease buffer times. Free up some memory on your computer so that videos can load more content at a time. Using the Windows Task Manager, which you can get to by using the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination, or by using Start -> Run, typing, qttaks, and hitting Enter, you can see what processes are currently running and end ones that you don't need.
Please let us know if any of the above is of help.