Here are the four most important considerations when choosing a suitable data connection for your business.
Contention – The most used phrase in relation to broadband data services. This relates to how many connections are trying to access part the network at any one time.
The lower the contention the better quality the connection.
Bandwidth is only one measure of how suitable a data circuit may be. The quality of that circuit is also important. Latency (the amount of time a data packet takes to transmit) and Jitter (the stability of the circuit) have a big impact on the effective throughput of data.
Very important when running multiple traffic types over a data connection, particularly voice. QoS provides a method of prioritising traffic types.
The protection of VOIP is vital to ensure normal day to day data usage will not affect the quality of speech.
Broadband speeds are often expressed in terms of download speeds only however, when running application such as voice or remote access upload speeds are equally important. Synchronous Ethernet-based products are ideal for these sorts of requirements.
More businesses are hosting applications and wanting to utilise VOIP than ever before. With this in mind data connectivity is becoming more prevalent and crucial in the day to day running of companies. We offer connections to suit any requirement in small to medium sized businesses. Whether you are a homeworker connecting through the office system or a multi-site company incorporating fibre leased lines with resilience, we can help.
If you would like to know more about the various options available in terms of resilience, please go to our ‘Business Continuity’ page.
Business Broadband has been designed and developed in order to deliver high speed DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connectivity to business users at a very low cost. We provide the full range of broadband solutions from simple ADSL and LLU broadband through to the latest fibre optic broadband services.
The reason for the lower cost associated with broadband, is ‘Standard’ broadband services are by design, heavily contended services. This impacts on the throughput of data from the network and most users will reference to the ‘after school time’ when general internet usage increases which therefore impacts negatively on the service. We would never suggest a standard ADSL for applications such as voice.
It is often misinterpreted that at ‘busy’ times, such as after school, there is a negative effect on the speed of the broadband itself. This is not true, what is impacted is the data throughput from the network. The supplier predicts, at anyone one time how many businesses will require access to the network. An easy analogy is to imagine the data as water travelling down a stream, where it meets a tunnel. Normally it can free flow through the tunnel to the other side, but when there is heavy rainfall the water rises above the tunnel. There is only a finite amount of water than can get through at any time, so a rise in water (data) will still take time to be allowed through to the other side.
Known as FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet) in business and BT Infinity to domestic users. A strong connection for general web browsing and normal business use. Speeds of up to 80Mb down and 20Mb up.
Provides the next level up from broadband. A private and uncontended data connection. Primarily used for our converged solution using SIP trunks provided with Quality of Service (Qos) throughout the network.
FTTC, comes with a lower contention ratio than Infinity (the domestic variant) for obvious reasons. From an infrastructure point of view, this is Fibre from the exchange to the cabinet, and copper from the cabinet to premises. This is improved speeds against ADSL connections, but as with any copper service, the speed degrades over the distance from the cabinet to customer premises. This is still a heavily contended service with restricted SLA’s.
A more recent addition to FTTC is G.Fast. This product improves the speeds considerably from a standard FTTC connection. It runs over the same infrastructure as FTTC but has the addition of another piece of equipment at the Cabinet. Speeds can be up to 330Mb down and 50Mb upload.
Fibre to the premises is exactly as the title suggests, fibre directly into your building. Bringing a speed of 330Md down and 30Mb upload. It is still a broadband service, and therefore is contended with limited SLA’s. The footprint of FTTP is also still very limited so there are few companies that can take advantage of its availability.
This is layering ethernet technology over a FTTC broadband. In this instance the line is used for connectivity solely and has no associated CLI. This is because TalkTalk Business are procuring the line directly from Openreach rather than wholesale from BT and connect directly into their equipment at the exchange. When taken in conjunction with TTB SIP trunks, they layer QoS throughout the network. This is not a synchronous connection, but comes with a 24/7, 365 support package and critically is uncontended. This is a great choice when connectivity is of increased importance to a company, but the expense of a leased line cannot be warranted.
Also known as Ethernet over copper, is an access method that delivers Ethernet protocols over normal telephone copper wiring. It provides up to 35Mb of symmetrical, un-contended access to either TalkTalk Business or BT’s data network or your own private network (MPLS).
Ethernet in the first mile bridged the gap between broadband and leased lines for many years. Although still popular, solutions such as EoFTTC have taken precedence when the speed (generally) are increased and the cost is lower. That being said, this is still a popular and very robust connection. BT and TTB are the main suppliers for EFM. The foremost issue with the connection is distance. As this is in essence, bonded copper pairs, the further the premises are away the slower the speeds and the more pairs are required. The BT proposition is different, as they will ask what speed you desire and then ascertain how many pairs are required to facilitate this speed. TTB, have two flavours; two or four pair. From a presence perspective, TalkTalk Business have vastly more exchanges enabled with EFM than BT across the UK.
IP Leased Lines are for those customers who require a data connection with guaranteed bandwidth and with no contention. The type of leased line available is highly dependent upon the location of the site although, with recent advances in technology, higher bandwidth leased lines are now available for a fraction of the price of a few years ago. We can provide connections up to 1Gb.
A key characteristic of fibre leased lines are that they are synchronous. This is fibre into the building and therefore, the speed does not degrade over distance as with copper. It is presented as an access (usable) speed over bearer (capacity). Ie 30Mb access over a 100Mb bearer. As leased lines have become more common, the price has subsequently dropped considerably. The increase in requirement for leased lines has predominantly been triggered by a large uptake in companies hosting more and more applications off-site. Voice traffic, all be in important and fragile uses a minimal bandwidth, but stability is crucial.
There is often confusion over install costs and ECC’s (excess construction charges). Put simply, the install cost is for the engineer to go to site / cabinet and exchange and get the service working. Most businesses chose a minimum of 36-month terms and therefore this cost is negated. Durations below this time frame come with a circa £2,900 charge for the install.
ECC’s are any works required to bring the fibre to your building. This could be anything from having to ‘blow’ fibre through the ducting to digging up roads. You can either arrange for a pre-site survey, or once the connection is ordered await the results and choose whether to progress. Because of this, leased line lead times vary dramatically. The fastest we have seen is 10 days, whereas the longest has been 13 months.
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks allow the transmission of various communication types (voice, video, data) over one common IP based network. With Class of Service (CoS) and Quality of Service (QoS) enabled, BT’s and TalkTalk Business’ networks offer end-to-end network performance, with low latency and low jitter, which are key requirements for support of real-time applications.
MPLS is deemed as the most secure way to move data traffic between sites. Although, as well as being secure, it is also very ‘closed down’ making changes a more in-depth endeavour than some newer technologies such as SD-WAN.
All providers, with the exception of BT allow internet breakout from the core of the network. Meaning regardless of connectivity issues at any site, they all will have autonomy to break out to the internet. BT will only facilitate a breakout from a designated connection at one of the sites. This is, far more secure for obvious reasons, but on the same point inflexible, not to mention the cost implication(s) and having one central failover point. Companies with multiple sites whom deal with sensitive data must seriously consider MPLS over other options.
See more on multi-site page.
In a word, no.
From a customer perspective, a leased line is a fibre line entering the building providing speeds that have been agreed with the provider. The SLA is similar wherever you chose. The issue here is that the last element of having it installed is the unimportant aspect. A Tier One carrier with have multi-resilient PoP’s/exchanges and just as importantly robust (and fewer) interconnects/hops with alternative providers to ensure lower jitter and increased performance across a larger area. The larger, more established providers by design will have a more resilient network and next to no network related outages. Of course nothing is perfect, hence why even the most ‘premium’ services provide documentation on SLA’s.
There is a trend of more and more providers starting to build their own network, but remember, as low cost as your access to their network is, they must have agreements with carriers to traverse the traffic across their network(s). This is where problems can occur. ‘Their’ network could be performing perfectly, but the interconnect with another, may not.