High Speed Communication Guide

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2 Are you running at full speed? In this busy and unsecure world, businesses of all sizes need to be sure their data is not only safe and secure but that they are working with the highest speed available, and within budget. offer a free audit on business data communications to ensure they are being used to their greatest efficiency. We also offer a range of the latest communication links to the internet and to remote offices. Below we have provided a short explanation of some of the terms used in the world of communications, followed by a summary of the most common communication links available in the UK. Synchronous or Asynchronous Asynchronous (the A in ADSL) means that data flows more quickly in one direction than the other. In the UK this means that download speeds on Asynchronous connections are much faster than upload speeds. This is fine if you are mainly downloading from the internet, as the majority of consumers do. In the case of a business however asynchronous connections can cause problems, as remote access, VPN tunnels, and inter-site links work better with synchronous connections that have the same speed in both directions. Contention Ratio Contention ratio is basically an ISP s (Internet Service Provider) phrase for sharing a connection. It reflects the maximum number of other people you will be sharing the connection with. So, if a connection has a contention ratio of 20:1 it means that the maximum number of people you could be sharing the connection with at any one time is another 19 people. If all 20 people were connected and downloading at the same time then your download speed could slow down dramatically. Most business grade contended connections run at 20:1 or 10:1, most consumer grade connections run at 50:1. Essex CM12 0DU Telephone: Page 1

3 Standard ADSL An ADSL line is the simplest way of getting an always on internet connection to your office. It may be the cheapest and quickest way to the internet, but it is not ideal in some situations. As it is an asynchronous link it can be slow for remote users using VPN or, connecting from a remote location to on-site . As a standard ADSL line is cheap it is an ideal solution to be used as a backup line to one of the faster more resilient technologies detailed on this page. When teamed up with one of our Watchguard Firewalls it can be configured to automatically switch over when the main line fails. Cost effective solution. Low wait time for installation (from 1 week). Ideal as a Backup line. No guaranteed service agreement unless you pay a premium. Connection can be slow and unreliable if the site is a long distance from the exchange. High contention You could be sharing bandwidth with up to 50 other connections. Asynchronous links are slow for VPN traffic and inter office connections. Fibre to the Cabinet (Infinity) Infinity, as BT has named it, uses a technology called Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). This technology uses optical fibre cable for all except the final few hundred metres to the customer site. It delivers claimed download speeds of up to 76 Mbit/s and upload speeds of up to 19 Mbit/s. As it is asynchronous, it is aimed mainly at the consumer market and is looked on as the next generation ADSL. Low wait time for installation (from 2 weeks). Quicker than ADSL and still relatively cost effective. No guaranteed service agreement unless you pay a premium. High contention You could be sharing bandwidth with up to 50 other connections. Not available in all business areas. Essex CM12 0DU Telephone: Page 2

4 Ethernet First Mile (EFM) Over the past few years the increased use of ADSL services has funded the installation of expensive networking equipment in thousands of local telephone exchanges up and down the country. It has also funded the installation of high-capacity backbone connections linking the exchanges to the core networks of the major connectivity providers. EFM piggy-backs on this infrastructure, making it economically viable to roll out EFM to far more exchanges than SDSL could commercially justify. In the business communication market EFM sits between ADSL and Leased line services. EFM is aimed solely at the business market because unlike Infinity (FTTC) it operates at the same speed both up and down (Synchronous). The advantages with synchronous connections include much quicker inter-office connections and faster access for remote users to on-site , VPN and FTP servers. The first mile from the customer s point of view is the link between the customer s premises and the public network. As it is a figure of speech, it may be greater than or less than a mile. Synchronous connections Same upload and download speeds. Uncontended connection No sharing of bandwidth. Dependable, 24 7 Internet connectivity with Service Level Agreement (SLA). Moderate wait time for installation (up to 35 days). Not available in all areas yet. Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) This technology uses optical fibre for the entire connection directly into the customer site. It delivers claimed download speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s and upload speeds of up to 30 Mbit/s. It is a very new technology still in its first years of rollout. As it is asynchronous it will be mainly aimed at the consumer market. Essex CM12 0DU Telephone: Page 3

5 Fibre to the Premises cont. Very quick connection. No guaranteed service agreement unless you pay a premium. Difficult and costly to install, not all exchanges have the technology yet. Contended connection may be slow at busy times. Long wait time for installation (up to 2 months). Leased Line Using a dedicated fibre optic link to your local exchange, a leased line is the best connection you can get, it is also however, the most costly. Unlike Fibre to the Premises the customer will have exclusive access to the leased line, meaning that a guaranteed level of speed quality and, data transfer can be assured by the supplier as it is uncontended. We partner with a company that operates one of the most highly connected, highly peered networks within the industry and can provide leased line connectivity anywhere in the UK and internationally. We previously instructed them to deliver a leased line between London and Lagos (Nigeria). This they delivered with no fuss and within the quoted lead time. It was for this reason that we chose them to partner with us in this area. Dependable, 24 7 Internet connectivity with Service Level Agreement (SLA). Tailored service scalable bandwidth to meet any requirement at any time. Synchronous and Uncontended connection guaranteed 1:1 ratio. Managed router and 24 7 circuit monitoring. Expensive upfront and on-going costs. Long lead time for installation (up to 3 months). Can still break, ADSL line recommended as backup. Essex CM12 0DU Telephone: Page 4

6 Point to Point Wireless This technology involves directional radio transmitters being placed onto each building. This can be a single point to point or point to multi point in the case of multiple locations. This is ideal for connecting locations that are close together as line of sight is required between the transmitters. We have a customer in East London with three buildings connected using this technology. Proof that this technology is not just limited to rural locations. No need for any telephony connections. Very fast synchronous link. Needs line of sight. Relatively expensive to install. Summary What is the best connection for you? We cannot say that any of the connections above are specifically suited for your business, as every company has different needs. We can however offer you a FREE, no obligation survey of your current equipment and then recommend the most flexible, scalable and competitive solution designed specifically for your business and your budget. For the future The next technology on the radar is XG-PON which connects at 10 Gbits/s using the fibre network. This may sound a good headline figure, but we do say, you can live on the slip road to the M25 but that does not mean you won t get congestion when using it. We will let you know more about this technology as it develops and also how the internet will cope with these high speed connections. Essex CM12 0DU Telephone: Page 5

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