SDSL vs ADSL vs EFM vs Leased Lines
There are many different types of business broadband and business internet out there, so which do YOU need? Here’s a quick overview of some of the services available which your business may be considering:
Description: Symmetric digital subscriber line, where data is sent over existing copper telephone lines.
Service: Symmetrical upload and download speeds, otherwise very similar to an ADSL internet service.
Restrictions: As telephone lines are shared, cannot be used simultaneously with voice communications.
Speed: Slow with ‘up to’ speeds of around 8Mb, although speeds of 2Mb are more common.
Availability: Very few exchanges are equipped to offer SDSL; almost unheard of outside of major cities.
Outlook: Poor outlook, with demand for SDSL reducing significantly following widespread fibre rollout.
Good For: City centre businesses seeking a quick and temporary way to receive symmetrical speeds.
Conclusion: While SDSL was once a very suitable option for many businesses, the introduction of fibre internet has largely rendered this type of connection obsolete. A better alternative for businesses would be to look into ethernet in the first mile, where multiple DSL lines are bonded together to create a more robust and dedicated connection that’s typically able to offer faster symmetrical speeds of around 35Mb.
Description: Asymmetric digital subscriber line, which is one of the most popular connections in the UK.
Service: Similar to SDSL, except speeds are not symmetrical, with typically much slower upload speeds
Restrictions: ADSL is a contended service, which means that speeds may drop rapidly during peak hours.
Speed: Up to 24Mb, although speeds do drop significantly as distance from the exchange increases.
Availability: Widespread availability, with ADSL available to around 99 percent of the UK population.
Outlook: There is expected to be a sudden drop in demand for asymmetric services in the near future.
Good For: Small businesses and startups who want a connection for the short term.
Conclusion: ADSL is one of the most popular forms of connection in the UK, and while it’s cheap as chips, it does have a lot of restrictions that simply don’t make it compatible with the way businesses use the internet today. Slow upload speeds, for example, pose a massive challenge to utilising services like VoIP and cloud computing, while unreliable and unpredictable speeds changes make communications tricky.
Description: Ethernet in the first mile, where data is transferred over both fibre and copper cables.
Service: Very much a ‘middle of the road’ connection; a healthy mix of ADSL and fibre leased lines.
Restrictions:– The copper line aspect of EFM severely restricts the maximum speed availability.
Speed: Maximum speeds with EFM are roughly between 20 and 24Mb, although this is
Availability: Available to around 80 percent of UK businesses, with an estimated 45 day installation time.
Outlook: Very good, with many internet service providers competing for new EFM business customers.
Good For:– Mid-sized businesses who want the advantage of a leased line, without the commitment.
Conclusion: Let’s get one thing straight: Ethernet in the first mile is never going to be as good as a full fibre leased line, simply because of the speed restrictions. However, for businesses who don’t quite rely on their connection to the extent of larger, multinational companies, but still want to ‘future proof’ their business with a reliable service, EFM really can be the next best thing, and it’s reasonably priced, too.
Description: A dedicated, uncontended leased line, with data delivered exclusively over fibre cables.
Service: Fast, reliable, and includes excellent service level agreements (SLAs) for guaranteed up time.
Restrictions: Few service restrictions, although lengthy installation time can be frustrating for businesses.
Speed: Basically as much — or as little — as you want. Standard offerings of between 10Mb and 10Gb.
Availability: Available anywhere, although more costly in some areas due to necessary construction.
Outlook:– Widely considered to be the future of connectivity, with demand steadily increasing in the UK.
Good For: Larger businesses or businesses who heavily rely on a fast, reliable connection day-to-day.
Conclusion: If time and finances allow, then a leased line is the best option for businesses. There are many advantages of a leased line, such as widespread availability, 1:1 contention ratio, symmetric upload and download speeds, and the ability to choose a speed to suit your business. Speeds of up to 10Gb are especially suited to businesses wanting to really make the most of VoIP services and cloud computing.
If you need more information on types of connections that would be perfect for your business, get in touch and we can help.
If you already know what you need and are interested in finding the prices for any type of leased lines, just complete the form on the right-hand side and we will get back to you with a quote!