Which is best suited to your business needs? FTTC Vs EFM
There are dozens of options when choosing a data connection for your business. Each option has its unique advantages and disadvantages. This article will focus on two of the most popular business connections, EFM (Ethernet First Mile) and FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet).
Let’s first look at FTTC:
FTTC – Fibre To The Cabinet– is generally known as superfast broadband. Instead of using copper lines to carry data, FTTC uses fibre which offers far higher transmission rates and resilience than copper. These fibre lines run from an enabled BT exchange to the local BT PoP (Point of Presence – typically a green street cabinet). The service is delivered to the end-user using a standard copper PSTN (phone) line. Whilst copper is a slower medium for data transfer, the distance between the cabinet and the end-user premises is generally shorter. This means a significant increase in bandwidth with no noticeable loss in connection quality.
Advantages of FTTC
If your business uses a standard copper-based service like broadband, upgrading to FTTC is quick and easy. In locations where fibre is available, upgrades can complete in 7-10 working days. Another notable benefit is the speeds available, with download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps. This is impressive bandwidth at an affordable price, with our business-grade packages starting from £34.95/month.
Some points to watch out for
Another issue is contention. Despite fibre’s improved bandwidth, it is still a contended broadband service. There may be a noticeable drop in performance at peak times due to the number of other users using the service. Suppose your business is looking for a service that is not contended, i.e. a dedicated connection. In that case, you should consider other types of connectivity. FTTC is also not provided with any SLA (Service Level Agreement). There are no uptime guarantees or guaranteed service restoration times in an outage. If available, this can make an excellent additional backup/failover connection to future proof a dedicated connection against service outages.
Next, let’s look at EFM.
EFM or Ethernet First Mile is one of the highest quality forms of data connectivity currently available in the UK. It is a business-grade service offering leased-line quality connectivity over copper wires rather than conventional fibre. Due to using bonded copper pairs, EFM is highly resilient. If one pair fails, the others remain connected. EFM ensures uptime with a 6-hour SLA which guarantees service restoration times in any unexpected carrier downtime.
Advantages of EFM
EFM is a symmetrical service, meaning upload and download speeds are the same. This allows businesses to benefit from higher upload rates than standard broadband with the assurance of an SLA. EFM is a reliable and dedicated business internet solution. It is ideal for adopting services like Hosted VoIP, Microsoft 365, or Microsoft Teams, requiring high upload speeds.
Another notable advantage is that EFM is an entirely dedicated service, so the bandwidth is all yours. It does not suffer from performance loss at peak times like broadband services. This means your business will not suffer from any dips in bandwidth at certain times of day, maximising business productivity.
EFM is a business-grade Ethernet service backed by a strong SLA (Service Level Agreement). The SLA guarantees uptime and service restoration times in an outage. This is essential for businesses that rely heavily on their data connection.
Things to consider
EFM is more expensive than FTTC due to its benefits in symmetrical bandwidth, guaranteed uptime, and SLA. Therefore, EFM may not suit most small or home-based businesses but would be the first port of call for any SME running online services.
Another consideration is delivery time. EFM doesn’t utilise existing lines or hardware, so new lines and hardware will need to be installed. EFM typically has a lead-time of 45 working days but can be longer depending on exchange status. So if you need a swift improvement to your internet, EFM might not be suitable. Like FTTC, EFM is also not available everywhere. To find out if EFM is available in your area, contact our expert sales team at email@example.com or call us on 0333 240 1824.
FTTC vs EFM Conclusion
If available, FTTC is the perfect solution for SMEs looking for a fast way to improve existing DSL (Broadband) bandwidth. It delivers high speeds at a low cost with a short installation time.
EFM is the better choice if you need a business-grade connection with improved upload speeds, guaranteed uptime and no contention.
Another option is EoFTTC which fits nicely between FTTC and EFM on the data connectivity product ladder. EoFTTC makes the jump from broadband into the world of Ethernet less painful from a cost perspective, and it uses FTTC infrastructure to deliver a business-grade internet service with an SLA.