This is why so many people have problems with Skype and watching videos and TV online.
Why does my internet provider do that?
You will find with almost all internet providers, there is a little publicised thing call a fair usage policy. This basically tells you that if you use your internet in such a way that it interferes with other users or causes, or is likely to cause problems with their network, they reserve the right to throttle (put the brakes on) certain forms of internet traffic.
This throttling is generally applied to all peer-to-peer activity as that causes most network disruption. As a rough guide, 1 hour streaming SD TV consumes about 700Mb - that would probably feed a 'normal' user for more than a week.
The reason it causes disruption is that you probably share your 6Mbps connection with up to 49 other people and this is why it's always advertised as 'up to'. If you're hogging all the bandwidth with your IPTV box, torrents or whatever, the remaining 49 people experience slow internet. Additionally, as you get more and more people on your internet connection gobbling up bandwidth with their data hungry IPTV boxes, none of you will get any usable service at all so you all suffer.
The ONLY way to get a true 6Mbps connection (or any other speed for that matter) is to pay for an exclusive connection. Good idea! Not really.
How much would you be prepared to pay for that exclusive connection? Unless you're prepared to pay for the other 49 users they would normally connect to your point, it'll never happen.
Basically, you need to pay 50 times your current payment for an exclusive internet connection.
The speed issue doesn't stop there though. because that is only the speed between you and your internet provider. You also have a million and one other internet providers out there all supplying millions of people with internet.
If everyone and their grandmothers are all online together, they internet would grind to a halt and nobody would get anything, regardless of what speed their connection is capable of.
Look at it this way, if everybody drove onto the M1, the road would be blocked and nobody would be moving. The Ferrari and the Micra would all be traveling at the same pace. Just like your 1Mbps and your 20Mbps internet would.
Then you have the issue of the speed of the website you're visiting. Busy websites are more likely to go slower as their servers may not be able to cope with the volume of traffic, or they may have gone over their data limits. Yes, someone somewhere has to pay for all the data you use.
So next time you're suffering with slow internet, you can probably blame the TV/Skype/torrent streamers out there. It's not always the fault of your internet provider but do report it to them.
General rule of thumb is domestic internet has a contention ratio of 50:1 (50 people share 1 connection) and professional grade internet has a contention ratio of 25:1 or less, hence it costs more. You pays you money and makes your choice.