Wireless technology and devices are becoming ever more pervasive and embedded in our lives. In particular, wireless access to the internet is defining the way that we learn, work and socialize. The primary motivation for undertaking this investigation was the author's involvement in a community broadband project. The contributions of the paper have real impacts for industry and the results of this investigation have been used to provide recommendations to a community wireless internet provider and highlight the wider impact on the UK broadband network. Five major contributions have been achieved: (1) Results from both wired and wireless scenarios are critically evaluated and then concluded; (2) Accurate simulations of 802.11b network in NS2 are validated with live network tests; (3) Evidence is given through both simulation and real network tests to show that current TCP standards are inefficient on wireless networks; (4) A new TCP congestion control algorithm is proposed as well as an outline for a fresh approach; (5) Industry reactions are then given to recommendations for network changes as a result of this investigation.