FTTP vs Ethernet

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FTTP is becoming the new standard of broadband over its FTTC / SoGEA counterparts. However, Ethernet brings something a little extra as it was designed for businesses and not the residential market.

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) uses fibre-optic cables to transmit from the exchange all the way to the business’s premises. FTTP typically provides top-end bandwidths of up to 1Gbps for downloads and 115Mbps for uploads and is asymmetric.

Fibre Ethernet is sometimes also referred to as leased lines. Fibre Ethernet services are always uncontended, this means that if you have this type of service there is no sharing of the infrastructure with any other business.

Ethernet uses dedicated high-capacity fibre optic lines and Ethernet services are dedicated, uncontended broadband services with guaranteed bandwidth, synchronous speeds (i.e. you get the same download and upload speeds) and SLA’s. There are different Ethernet bearer options available with different bandwidth options.

Contended vs Uncontended

When a service provider says a broadband circuit is ‘uncontended’, it means is a dedicated internet connection, your bandwidth speed is fixed and guaranteed, and it is not shared with others. If you didn’t have an uncontended service, your bandwidth is not fixed, it’s a best-efforts service to the highest bandwidth available, so your speed can fluctuate particularly during busy times of the day, leading to slow down of speed which can affect your productivity as you are sharing it with others.

Think of it another way, an uncontended service is like having your own private motorway, with only your own users having access to it, a contended service is like using a public motorway, which can slow down due to heavy traffic during rush hour.

Synchronous vs Asynchronous

Synchronous means you get the same bandwidth for uploads and downloads. E.g. If you choose 200Mbps you get that 200Mbps for uploads and 200Mbps for downloads.

Asynchronous is where the service bandwidth is higher weighted on the download compared to the upload. For instance, 1Gbps for downloads and 115Mbps for uploads.

Ethernet Options

As mentioned, there are different Ethernet bearers available to suit a business’s individual requirements.

Fibre Ethernet

Fibre Ethernet is an Ethernet Over Fibre service, the connection provides high-speed ethernet bandwidth from 10Mbps to 10Gbps delivered as Ethernet over fibre optic lines.

Fibre Ethernet uses bearers. Bearers are the bandwidth size of the available circuit, it’s the maximum speed that the circuit can go up to. With Fibre Ethernet you can get 100Mbps bearers and add on block of 10Mbps, 1Gbps bearers and add on blocks of 100Mbps up to 500Mbps then after 1Gbps or 10Gbps bearers that you can add on blocks of 1Gbps.

With Fibre Ethernet, you are guaranteed uncontended, high bandwidth, uptime and a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Max Speeds: From 10Mbps up to 10Gbps (synchronous)

Ethernet Flex 1Gbps

As a City Fibre Champion, we are able to offer the competitive Ethernet Flex 1Gbps solution. With Ethernet Flex, you are guaranteed an uncontended, synchronous 200Mbps but you can have an unlimited, 1Gbps burst at no extra cost and on-demand.

Max Speeds: Guaranteed 200Mbps both up and down. 1Gbps burst at no extra cost.

Discover how upgrading from FTTC to Fibre Ethernet helped improved Stressline's buiness operations

Read the full Case Study

Converged Ethernet

There are several choices when it comes to Ethernet and what you want it to support, you can choose to have Ethernet Data only, Ethernet Voice Only (used in conjunction with SIP Trunks and Hosted Phone Systems), or Converged Ethernet (Voice, Data and using SIP and a Hosted Phone System.)

Converged Ethernet is the fully managed variant of standard Ethernet and combines both Voice and Data on a single high-speed connection prioritising all voice traffic to guarantee the number of concurrent calls required and quality, without degradation of the service during periods when traffic usage on your circuit could be in high utilisation.

With Converged Ethernet you get dedicated, uncontented, guaranteed bandwidth speeds and SLA’s.

So, should your business choose FTTP or Ethernet?

FTTP tends to be cheaper than ethernet simply because you are sharing bandwidth with others so it brings down the cost, but also takes away the guaranteed maximum speeds that you get with an ethernet (leased line) connection.

FTTP does provide similar stability as a Fibre Ethernet connection, but it can't provide that guaranteed bandwidth that your business network may need and does not have an SLA on guaranteed up time that Fibre Ethernet has.

The key thing with FTTP is availability. It isn’t as widespread, although it is a focus to improve its availability whereas, Ethernet is available pretty much anywhere in the UK (but could come with additional installation costs to deliver it).

FTTP tends to be suited to small to medium sized businesses that need a good connectivity speed but don’t transfer a lot of data, continuously. We recommend Ethernet when;

  • Most of your business applications are cloud-based.
  • You want to use SIP Trunks and/or a Hosted Phone System.
  • You have been experiencing internet downtime.
  • You transfer a lot of large files
  • You have had slow download/uploads.
  • You need reliable connectivity, 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • Your business has more than one site.
  • Your business in an area of poor connectivity such as a rural location.

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