Prices of Leased Lines and Ethernet First Mile (EFM) connections have dropped dramatically over the last 12-18 months and are now within reach of small businesses. Prices start from around £400 per month for EFM connections and £500 for a 10Mbs leased line. 100Mbs lines are also available from around £650 per month.
The difference between EFM and a conventional leased line is in the technology used in the final connection to your premises. With EFM the connection is made using conventional copper telephone circuits, whereas conventional leased lines use optical fibre.
This means installation costs of an EFM line are considerably lower than leased lines, and it’s rapidly becoming a popular way for small and medium-sized businesses to connect to the internet, or to connect multiple offices to each other.
EFM is a more reliable and robust source of uncontended high-speed internet access because the First Mile is delivered over 2 or 4 bonded copper pairs, rather than a single copper pair, like conventional ADSL.
EFM is a fully symmetrical service, meaning that both upstream and downstream traffic speeds are identical, and offers superior line quality. This is very important to businesses that upload large amounts of data or utilise internet and telephony services over their connection.
An EFM connection is like a leased line dedicated to your business except that it costs less to install and the monthly service rental costs are lower. Monthly service rentals for 8-10Mbs upload and download (uncontended – which means the speed does not vary) start from around £400. Speeds and exact prices depend upon your location.