What is Ethernet First Mile (EFM) & How Does It Help Your Business Growth?
A reliable and high-quality internet connection is essential for almost every business to perform its day-to-day functions efficiently.
EFM(Ethernet First Mile) will help you to grow your business in an advanced way.
In the past when anyone wanted to work from home it meant packing a number of floppy disks in your bag and there was no existence of cloud based applications. But now thanks to the availability of high quality internet connection that it becomes easier to exchange and access information online. As a result businesses and organisations are now more reliant on internet connection as they store data in cloud-based applications instead of installing and maintaining it in house.
But this increased dependence on the internet brings in a problem that the businesses become highly reliant on the internet even for reliable communication.No doubt invention in internet connectivity offers a number of benefits to the businesses but the standard internet products have some limitations too.
For example, conventional connections like ADSL have asymmetrical speeds and contention. But the businesses need an uncontended, high speed and reliable connection. If you are searching for the right connectivity solution for your business you may come across Ethernet First Mile (EFM). It is an uncontended connection that can meet your business connectivity needs.
Here in this article, we are providing all the information that you need to know about EFM.
What Is EFM?
Ethernet first mile or EFM is a most commonly used business Ethernet connection providing high bandwidth internet all across the country. It is designed to provide business class connectivity solutions to UK businesses. It is a technology that uses the existing copper wires pairs that are bonded at your premises and the exchange by using terminating equipment to present a single Ethernet connection.
With the help of pairs of cables and signal processing technology it provides you with a fast internet connection through which you can access cloud based applications.The speed of the Ethernet First Mile connection is affected by the number of copper wires used in making a circuit. With two pairs of copper wires you can get a speed of 10 Mbps while with four pairs you can get 20 Mbps.
Another thing that can cause impact on speed is the length of copper cable.The maximum speed that you can get through this technology is 30 Mbps. This speed is equivalent to regular broadband speed but the thing which makes it different is that this speed is the same in both directions.
With the linked circuits you can get the benefit of guaranteed internet speed because these circuits are tolerant to failure. If one circuit fails you can get the internet through another one till the issue is fixed.
Ethernet First Mile Vs Fibre Leased Line
You may also wonder whether EFM is similar to fibre. Well the answer is yes and no. In the UK most traditional fibre broadband use FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) technology. In this type of connection the fibre optic delivers a connection to the street cabinet from where an ordinary copper wire is used to deliver connection to your premises.
However, In some locations especially in the centre of cities, it is possible to get FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) connection. In such a connection the fibre comes all the way from the internet provider to your premises.
It offers ultra fast speed and fixed bandwidth but due to geographical restrictions it is not possible for all the users to get this connection.
So why would you go for an Ethernet based connection? Although EFM service provides a speed similar to conventional broadband connection by using copper wires. But the advantage that you can get is faster uploads when still fibre broadbands are offering asynchronous speeds. Most importantly it is a cost effective option when compared to other connectivity solutions especially the leased line connection. Moreover, this connection is available in all areas of the UK.
There is another advantage of EFM that is an uncontended connection. When you get an internet connection through traditional broadband you have to share this connection with other local users. You may have noticed that at home when you are using the internet the speed is high in the daytime but at the peak usage hour or in the evening it becomes slow. This slow down of internet speed is known as contention.
There are traffic management software that can be used to lower the contention at peak times. It can help you to manage the traffic at peak hours but it can not completely end contention.
However, with EFM service you can get a connection that is solely for your business use and you do not need to share with another local business. It means that you know your business will not suffer from loss of connection and you can provide the best customer experience. In the past for a dedicated internet connection, you needed to get a leased line. It is not only an expensive option but also needs a long installation time.
EFM internet connection provides you an uncontended connection at a lower cost.
In addition, you also do not have any data usage cap. Some internet providers restrict you for the amount of data that you can transfer each month and also charge extra cost when you exceed the limit. Even those internet providers who claim their service is unlimited also have fair use restrictions. They will penalise either in financial terms or slowing down your internet speed. These type restrictions are unacceptable when you need a connectivity solution for your business.
Another important factor about EFM is that it provides a highly resilient connection. In simple words this connectivity solution can survive a certain level of failure and still be able to deliver a connection. Thanks to the signal processing technology which also makes maintenance of fast connection over copper wires possible.
If your business is internet critical you must opt for a backup connection from another circuit to ensure that you can get a connection even in extreme circumstances.
Using an internet connection for business purposes the concerns about security are increased. There are a lot of things that you do not want to share with anyone such as the personal information of your customers. With ethernet first mile you will get a highly secure connection. As it is a dedicated internet connection and you do not share with anyone else there are less chances that your data is intercepted or misrouted on its way to the destination.
In addition, EFM uses familiar and reliable Ethernet technology so there is no worries that it will be compatible with your current systems and networks or not.
In commercial terms the reliability of internet connection is ensured by the Service Level Agreements (SLAs). It means that you can get a high quality service and if there is any issue it is resolved in the shortest possible time. Your internet provider is likely to monitor your connection 24/7 and troubleshoot problems even before you notice them.
Cost Of EFM Connection
Ethernet First Mile (EFM) delivers internet connection by using existing copper wires so it is cheaper than other uncontended connections such as leased lines. However, the cost of connection can vary from provider to provider. So you must shop around and make price comparisons to find the best rates.
There are some other factors that can affect the cost of internet connection such as location of your workplace, number of users, speed you need, bandwidth, and contract length. On the basis of these factors your internet provider will calculate the amount you have to pay every month or year. Some providers offer you discounts if you are ready to sign a contract for a long time.
Business Benefits Of EFM
So far in this article we have discussed the Ethernet First Mile technology, but you may be thinking what benefits it can deliver in terms of business. Let’s see how this technology can help you in increasing your business productivity and providing the best customer experience.
Another significant benefit of EFM for your business is that it helps you to improve your day to day business communication.
Now many businesses use VoIP technology for communication and such applications perform efficiently only with a reliable internet connection. Moreover, the trend of remote working is increasing when you have a reliable connection you can connect with your employees and team members no matter where they are. Over time technologies are changing and new ones are emerging and businesses are adopting new ones to beat the competition. Most of the businesses now use cloud base applications and to access data they need a highly reliable connectivity solution.
Ethernet First Mile can be the best internet connectivity solution for your business. But before choosing it you must consider the needs of your business such as how much speed do you need and for which purpose you need an internet connection. If your business is internet critical then you can consider EFM internet connection as it can provide you a highly reliable, secure and cost effective connectivity solution along with symmetrical speed and robust service level agreement.
However, we understand that the needs of businesses keep on changing as they grow over time. If data demand of your business is increasing EFM may not fit your needs. Then you can look for alternatives to Ethernet First Mile such as managed internet access, point to point leased line, and Wide Area Network (WAN). But you should keep in mind that these solutions can be costly and difficult to support. They also have a long installation time while EFM can be installed within a short time and be in working quickly.