EFM stands for Ethernet in the First Mile. EFM is a copper based highly cost efficient business IP access technology. It is often used as a lower cost option to a leased line. This is because it offers faster speeds than broadband, better SLAs than DSL, and resilience due to the use of multiple copper wires.
Instead of using fibre to the installation site, ethernet in the first mile, makes cost efficiencies by utilising the existing copper network. Multiple copper lines are twisted. This means it is not necessary to install fibre to the business installation site.
Ethernet first mile services can deliver speeds of 35 Mbps. The upload and download speeds are the same, they are symmetrical. The bandwidth speed is offered at 5:1 contention and 1:1 contention. 5:1 contention means 5 businesses share the dedicated bandwidth. 1:1 contention means the bandwidth is dedicated to 1 customer.
EFM uses several copper pairs. This means if one copper pair fails the service will continue. Albeit at a lower operating speed. The service is not provided over diverse ducting. This means if the duct is cut the service will fail.
Ethernet first mile is available to over 85% of UK businesses. You can check if your business can receive ethernet first mile using the Amvia checker on this page.
1:1 & 5:1 Bandwidth
5:1 and 1:1 refer to contention across the EFM circuit. 5:1 contention means that 5 other businesses may be using the EFM bandwidth at the same time as your business. EFM does have an uncontended 1:1 bandwidth option. 1:1 contention means that the circuit is dedicated to your business' sole use. . For businesses who can accept sharing bandwidth with up to 5 other businesses 5:1 contention reduces overall cost of ownership.
Although not as strong as a fibre leased line SLA, ethernet internet access services are backed by significant service guarantees. The guarantees cover features such as speed and availability. Unlike a leased line SLA, jitter, latency and packet loss are not usually included in an ethernet SLA.
Ethernet first mile services operate on the same upload speed as download speed. This is called a symmetrical bandwidth connection. There are several benefits of this symmetry: If remote users are accessing HQ hosted applications and content. They can download and access these much faster. FTP and other remote web services have a far higher performance. It is quick to send and upload large files, CAD technical drawings, graphic designs etc
Managed Router & Unmanaged Router Options
Some suppliers insist that you use a managed router. This can be inflexible and expensive as a monthly fee is applied to the managed router service. Other providers can provide what is known as a “wires only” service. This means that your business provides the router to connect to the end of the circuit.
Enhanced support is provided on these services. Although the fix time is not as good as with a premium leased line 7 hours vs 4 hours. There is still a 24 x 7 x 365 support service. So you can report a fault as soon as it occurs and minimise downtime.
The service can be installed in 45 days or less. The lead time is usually around 50% of a fibre leased line install lead time. This is because the service is utilising existing copper infrastructure.
Static IP Address
Static IP addresses are required for you to operate certain services. For example, you own email server, remote worker VPN, self hosted web servers. Usually you receive a block of 4 static IP addresses. If you have a requirement for more static IP addresses then this can usually be accommodated. A justification for IP addresses is usually required.
Most providers provide an online web portal specific to your service. This can show you uptime statistics, usage of the connection over time and much more. Often this service also allows you to raise a support ticket and handle any moves and changes.
We believe that finding the right ethernet first mile data service should be as simple as a couple of clicks. We provide you with instant access to all the EFM options available in your area so that you can save time, effort and money.
Start your comparison, by submitting your requirements.
Amvia expertly compares all your line options and compiles pricing.
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You choose the service that best suits your needs. You can then relax, while Amvia handles the installation.
"I found the sales process with Amvia to be a very professional one offering expert solutions to meet my needs. I found the quotation from Amvia far superior to any competitors, it was clear and concise and outlined the options that we could take in an easy-to-read format. I had excellent conversations with Amvia about what we currently had and how to realise our full potential. I ordered a 100/100 Mbps line and had high expectations of installing the line quickly and Amvia delivered."
Adam Pikett - Co-Founder - SportPursuit
How do I find out if Ethernet First Mile is available at my location?
To find out what EFM speeds are available to you all that you need are your phone number, postcode and an EFM checker.
What is the upload/download difference for EFM?
The service is symmetrical. This means if 5Mbps is available you will get 5Mbps upload and 5Mbps download. Similarly if 20Mbps is available you will get 20Mbps up and 20Mbps down.
How reliable is the service?
EFM circuits are backed by a 99.9 % SLA (Service Level Agreement). Additionally there is a 4 hour response, 6 hour fix guarantee. You can also raise a fault 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
How does EFM work?
Ethernet First Mile uses the traditional copper network used for phone calls. These copper lines are bonded at your local telephone exchange. The resulting connection is provided to you as a single ethernet connection.
What is the maximum speed available?
Theoretically the maximum speed any business can achieve is 35Mbps.
Is ethernet first mile suitable for VoIP?
Yes, actually it is ideal to support VoIP applications. The circuit and bandwidth is dedicated to you. This means you can rely on the bandwidth availability you need to successfully run VoIP applications.
What sort of budget will I need?
This is an economical service targeted for SME businesses in the UK. This means the cost is usually 50% or more less than a leased line. It is ideal as a reliable internet service for a business that relies on the internet to successfully operate.
I'm not sure which speed I need?
We handle this request all the time. Call one of our experts on 0333 733 8050. We can help you work through your requirements and the expected level of bandwidth you will need.