Symmetrical speed: what is it and why is it significant?


We can all agree that broadband is of great importance, more so now than ever, to the extent that it is now considered to be a fourth utility. This is because we have become reliant on the internet for so many aspects of our lives and it is vital that we have symmetrical speeds to keep up with our demands.

What are symmetrical speeds?

In short, symmetrical speeds are when the upload speeds are equal to that of the download speeds. Therefore, if your upload speed is 1Gbps, your download speed will also be 1Gbps.

  • Upload speeds are how quickly you can share something on the internet. Fast upload speeds ensure that you can share that post on social media or engage in important video meetings for work
  • Download speeds are how quickly you can access the internet. The faster your download speeds are, the quicker you can browse while online shopping or rewatch Bridgeton on Netflix

Unlike ClearFibre, many ISPs are unable to provide symmetrical speeds because they are still using copper cables in their networks. Larger companies will offer download speeds of 250Mbps, but with upload speeds stuck below 50Mbps. So, if larger companies don’t offer it, is it really of any importance?

What’s the significance?

If you are among the few to mostly just send emails, browse through Instagram or go online to check the match update, you probably do not need symmetrical speeds.

However, if like most of us today you use the internet for the reasons mentioned above, but also to work from home, order your medical prescriptions and even for educational purposes, symmetrical speeds are an essential benefit to you.

Not only do symmetrical speeds allow you to stream videos to the highest quality but they also provide a more reliable connection. Uploading and downloading can occur almost instantly making it easier to share content from home. Individuals will often have to upload large files, videos and audio to the internet so that they can share them with their clients, colleagues, doctors, teachers and students.

Furthermore, symmetrical speeds guarantee that you do not lose bandwidth when downloading and uploading at the same time. Imagine a situation where you are trying to gather information online for a project at work and upload a large number of photos from your cloud storage, if your speeds were asymmetrical there is no way you could complete these tasks simultaneously or if so, with great difficulty.

The future

As businesses continue to grow and the likelihood of remote working becoming more common, symmetrical speeds are taking off as the future of broadband. Working from home has driven many companies to implement cloud-based business tools to help remote workers better collaborate and remain productive. All these tools require some form of data upload which is further driving the necessity for symmetrical broadband.

Much of the population has a fast-paced lifestyle and a high-speed, reliable internet service is paramount. That’s why it is important we do not overlook the impact that symmetrical speeds have, as making sure uploads and downloads are occurring at the same time is critical.


Ceyda Tabak is client executive at ClearFibre, part of the Telcom Group. Please get in touch:

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Great read! Very insightful.

By Andy Austen

Very informative and to the point, easily understandable for someone with limited knowledge.

By Eliza