Many small businesses want to improve their connectivity speeds, but can’t justify the expense of full blown leased line connections. We investigate a few options that are better than ADSL broadband, but won’t break the bank.
Before we go into comparisons, let’s look at what speeds you would be likely to get with your business ADSL broadband.
Business ADSL broadband would usually be either ‘up to 8Mbps’ or ‘up to 24Mbps’. This refers to your download speed (inbound), which is dependent on the distance to the telephone exchange. The upload speed (outbound) is typically around 0.8Mbps.
ADSL broadband is also an asynchronous service, meaning that it can’t send and receive data at the same time. This typically manifests itself as the internet going slow when you’re sending out a big e-mail, or when uploading files to a website.
So, what are the alternatives?
EFM – Up to 20Mbps inbound & outbound
EFM, which stands for ‘Ethernet in the First Mile’, is a fairly new arrival on the business connectivity scene. 10 years ago, if you wanted to improve your connection over and above a business ADSL broadband line you’d be looking at having a leased line installed for your business. These typically have install costs in the thousands of pounds, with yearly charges upwards of £7k per annum.
EFM, rather than being delivered by fibre, is delivered by copper pairs – just like ADSL broadband. Unlike ADSL, EFM provides a synchronous service which means that the inbound and outbound speeds are identical and the system can send and receive data simultaneously. This makes EFM ideal for delivering a much better experience for VPN/remote users and inter-office links.
EFM speeds are based solely on the distance from your property to the telephone exchange, and are guaranteed.
We are able to supply EFM in 2 pair and 4 pair configurations. 4 pair is more expensive, but typically provides double the bandwidth of EFM.
2 Pair EFM is currently priced at £240 per month, and 4 pair EFM is currently priced at £350 per month. Installation costs vary depending on contact length.
FTTC – Up to 80Mbps inbound and 20Mbps outbound
FTTC, or Fibre to the Cabinet, is the service you may know as BT Infinity. Our provider, Gradwell, offer various incarnations of FTTC which are all designed for business use. Their service can deliver either 40Mbps in/2Mbps out or 80Mbps in/20Mbps out.
This solution is delivered from the telephone exchange to the green street cabinet by fibre (hence fibre to the cabinet) and then to your business property from the cabinet via copper. This minimises the length of the copper run, and improves your speed over ADSL broadband.
The service is asynchronous, like ADSL, meaning it can’t send an receive at the same time. However, the outbound bandwidth is up to 24 times faster than ADSL broadband which means this is much less of an issue.
Our 80Mbps down/20Mbps up fibre broadband is currently available from just £30.50 + VAT per month.
For 40Mbps down/2Mbps up we can offer fibre broadband for £25 + VAT per month.
Load Balancing – double your current speeds
For businesses that can’t get FTTC as their cabinet or exchange hasn’t been upgraded, the next best option other than EFM is to get a second broadband line and use a load balancing firewall to send the internet traffic up/down over both lines.
Although this won’t give you double your speeds on a physical speed test, the net effect is that the internet traffic from the company is split over 2 lines meaning you have double the throughput.
Outbound traffic can be balanced between both connections, to reduce the effects of a large upload slowing the broadband to a crawl.
Up until a few years ago, you used to have to take an analogue phone line along with a broadband line, adding an extra £12 – £15 per month to your costs. Now, we’re able to offer MPF broadband from Gradwell which can be delivered without payment for an analogue line. This means the broadband package, at £25 + VAT per month, is a very cheap way to add extra connectivity for your business.
How to get these products
If you’re interested in any of our broadband products, whether you’re looking to add extra broadband to a home office or upgrading your business to EFM, just drop us a line on 0118 9260084 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote and a speed estimate. We just need your postcode, and an analogue phone number if you have one already.