Why Ethernet First Mile Is Eating Traditional 2Mb Leased Lines For Breakfast

Ethernet First Mile is fast becoming a popular way to connect your offices to the Internet, or to connect your offices to each other. We've seen the number of people using our Ethernet First Mile pricing tool soar over the past few months. Why? Well, EFM has some great advantages over some more traditional connectivity options...

Ethernet First Mile Offers Lots Of Bandwidth

EFM can offer up to 35Mbit/s, in some locations. That's a lot more than the 2Mbit/s people used to be able to get via a traditional E1 leased line, or a traditional 0.5Mbps, 1Mbps or 2Mbps SDSL connection. The actual speed you can get depends on i) whether your local telephone exchange has been EFM-enabled ii) how far away you are from that exchange (or more accurately, the length of the copper cables linking you to your local telephone exchange) To find out what options are available in your area, use our free online EFM & leased line pricing tool, then tell us the quote number and we'll be able to run some additional tests to see if EFM is available at your location, and whether the best-value option at your location uses EFM over copper, or whether it uses fibre-optic cable.

Ethernet In The First Mile Is Widely Available

Only recently has this high-bandwidth alternative to fibre leased lines become widely available. The commercial roll-out of SDSL stalled when BT's wholesale division found there wasn't enough demand for its 0.5Mbit/s, 1Mbit/s and 2Mbit/s SDSL services to justify rolling these services out to more than 900 of the UK's 5600 telephone exchanges. The big mistake was to deliver the service using just one pair of copper wires. Ethernet First Mile uses 2 or more 'copper pairs' and some providers such as ourselves use up to 8. This enables higher bandwidths to be delivered over a wider cover area. The growing penetration of consumer ADSL services has funded the installation of expensive networking equipment in thousands of local telephone exchanges up and down the country. It also funded the installation of high-capacity backhaul circuits linking that equipment to the core networks of some of the major connectivity providers. EFM piggy-backs on this investment, enabling these connectivity providers to earn additional revenue without much additional expenditure, by offering EFM services through their wholesale divisions. This has made it economically viable to roll out EFM to far more exchanges than SDSL could justify commercially.

Ethernet First Mile (Over Copper) Delivers A More Resilient Service Than You Typically Get With ADSL or SDSL Solutions

Typical ADSL services are delivered over one pair of copper wires. Typical SDSL services are delivered over one pair of copper wires. EFM is delivered over two or more copper wires. Some providers deliver it using up to 4 pairs of wires. Others, such as ourselves deliver it suing up to 8 pairs. This enables a more resilient service to be created, that's not exclusively dependent on any one pair. If one of those pairs of copper wires stops working, your bandwidth is reduced, but you still have connectivity. Some providers, such as ourselves, can also use multiple line cards at the telephone exchange, and plug the circuits into multiple bits of equipment at the exchange - to reduce your service's dependence on any one bit of hardware. This means that Ethernet First Mile is able to deliver a 'business class' service that's reliable enough to carry VoIP calls or to be used as a credible alternative to a traditional fibre leased line circuit.

Ethernet in the First Mile - Filling a Gap Between Cheap ADSL/SDSL/2Mb Leased Lines and Expensive 100Mb Fibre Circuits.

Many businesses start off with ADSL connections, SDSL connections or 2Mbit/s leased lines, but then find these don't provide them with enough bandwidth to meet their needs. These businesses may not be able to afford a 100mb fibre leased line connection. They just need something that's mid-way between these two solution. Ethernet in the First Mile is that mid-market solution. It may be able to meet their demand for more bandwidth, without incurring the costs of a high-capacity fibre leased line.

Find out how much EFM should cost

To find out how much EFM is likely to cost, visit our free Ethernet First Mile & Leased Line Price Checker.

Contact us

    • Head Office:
    • hSo, 50 Leman Street, London, E1 8HQ
    • Switchboard:
    • 020 7847 4500
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