EFM or Bonded ADSL
Which technology wins this? Which is the best value for money? EFM and Bonded ADSL both use existing copper wire technology. EFM guarantees a fixed bandwidth with zero contention and requires little management.
Bonded ADSL speeds can fluctuate throughout the day and these bandwidth fluctuations require re-balancing management.
EFM’s strong uptime guarantee is testament to its reliability. Bonded ADSL only requires active broadband services and is reliable on up to 8 lines. Monthly costs for both vary and are dependent on terms and distance from the local point of presence.
There has been an increasing demand for the installation of both Ethernet First Mile (EFM) and Bonded ADSL during the last twelve months. This success is due to the utilisation of existing copper wire technology, increased demand on internet connection speeds, manageability and competitive costs. Plus the fact that standard broadband is not adequate for a lot of businesses now.
Is it EFM?
Both EFM and Bonded ADSL use existing copper wire technology. This allows for quicker installation times compared with fibre leased lines. If copper wire currently exists from the local PoP to location of business, either one of these technologies could be installed within two to five weeks. If businesses already have existing active PSTN lines (phone lines) plus an active broadband subscription on these lines, then it is possible to bond these lines almost immediately. This allows for a bandwidth increase without the extended wait. If a business has an active PSTN but without a broadband subscription, a broadband installation on each of the required lines could be a “Fast-track” installation, establishing an up-and-running Bonded ADSL within 48 hours but this comes at a cost.
Bonded ADSL offers speeds of up to 80Mbps downstream and up to 10Mbps upstream, less approximately 2% average overheads. This speed however, is completely determined by each individual broadband line applied to the bonded circuit. The disadvantage of this method is that if one or more of the lines decreases in speed, it will be reflected immediately on the entire bonded circuit. EFM on the other hand offers fixed speeds from 2Mbps to 35Mbps. Therefore, if a 12Mbps EFM circuit is purchased, a bandwidth of 12Mbps symmetric upstream/downstream is guaranteed at all times.
Is it Bonded ADSL?
EFM requires little management; you basically switch it on and forget it. Bonded ADSL requires a little more attention. In the event of any speed fluctuation, the bonded circuit will have to be re-balanced. This can either be scheduled or managed manually by some internet service providers (ISPs). During the re-balancing process a loss of bandwidth is inevitable due to “push and pull” speed testing.
EFM is becoming more readily available throughout the UK, however it may not be available in all areas. Bonded ADSL on the other hand only requires active broadband subscriptions for bonding to take place.
Bonded ADSL can utilise up to 8 lines, or even more depending on the chosen ISP. However, we recommend a maximum of 4 lines due to degradation in the service. Businesses can also subscribe to different ISPs per individual broadband line. This allows for greater resilience in the event that more than one of the services should fail. If one line drops off completely, the circuit will still remain active and complete, the only difference being a slight drop in speed.
Which Is Your Winner?
EFM on the other hand can only be judged on its impeccable reliability record and the fact that less equipment is required to terminate the connections.
EFM can occasionally have costly setup costs, but most ISPs offer a free installation on a three year term contracts. Monthly rental costs vary for Bonded ADSL and rely on certain components being in situ prior to the bonding aspect being applied. EFM on the other hand has more consistent pricing.
Typically Bonded ADSL can be more expensive than Ethernet in the First Mile, but may be the only option available in certain areas.
Bonded ADSL requires daily performance management. Therefore extra skills are required unless businesses are prepared to pay an extra fee for ISP management.
To see which of these technologies is more suitable to your business requirements give us a call today so we can help you decide.
Call 03300 770070 to speak with us today and answer the questions you have.