Ethernet in the First Mile ( EFM ) Options in Dorset

We discuss some options to Broadband ( ADSL ) and Leased Line Internet Connections

The main difference between EFM and ADSL is that EFM uses multiple pairs of wires to increase the speed




As you ( probably ) know Broadband services are being enhanced nationwide in the UK and you may well have seen the “ Fibre to the Cabinet – FTTC “ sticker on the High Street located box’s that we refer to in this earlier blog.

This basically means that fibre optic cable has been laid between the main local exchange and the street cabinet enhancing the capacity of the line to give improved Internet performance to the end user. The lines between the cabinet and the house or business premises are still copper ( unless you decide to pay for a fibre optic connection between them ).

If as a business you want high speed and a quality service then you typically think of either “ Broadband “ or “ Leased Line “.

Broadband is going to use ( hopefully ) the upgraded FTTC cabinet and the copper lines. Leased Lines involve the installation of fibre optic cable meaning, typically, a delay and greater cost.


There is an option in between that is probably not as well known as broadband which is generally known as Ethernet in the First Mile, EFM ( to customers ) and Ethernet in the Last Mile
( to suppliers ). Obviously a customer sees the cable between home/business and the street cabinet as “ the first mile “ and a telecommunications provider ( telco ) sees it as “ the last mile “.


In general owing to various high level trends e.g. the move to  “ cloud computing “ , IP Telephony, Unified Communications etc there is an increasing demand for faster, higher bandwidth, greater capacity, higher quality, reliable, resilient, Internet connectivity.


If you are to move your applications “ to the cloud “ i.e. on a server in a hosting/data centre as opposed to on a server on your premises then the connection to the cloud must be there and reliable.


E.F.M. provides a number of alternatives between basic broadband and a leased line.


EFM uses multiple pairs of copper wires to increase the speed. E.F.M. is a contended ( shared ) service from the exchange. So your performance can be affected by other people. ( Everyone that goes into that Exchange ) To improve this situation you may be able to pay for a guaranteed bandwidth service.


Summarising the contention/sharing situation between services:

FTTC is contended between the cabinet and the exchange.

FTTC, ADSL, EFM, Leased Lines (21CN variety) are contended from the exchange.



1 Gbps ( Giga Bits per second ) and 10 Gbps may be possible and in the future 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps.


So, it can be seem that there are a number of options and discussion needs to be had as to which suits both your needs and your budget.


Sometimes the business justification for a higher speed, uncontended, service seems weak at first however when the overall business requirements are looked at and the future considered, the return on investment may well be there.


To discuss this further please contact Clare on


Poundbury Systems Ltd.
Emeria House
71-73 Middlemarsh St

Tel: 01305 259849
Fax: 01305 259725


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