In this blog, our Technical Director, Chris Barr, takes a closer look at the connectivity solutions we provide to organisations and how they actually work.
Although everyone uses the internet, it’s quite common to see businesses with an insufficient internet connection.
Not too many businesses know what connection level is appropriate for their needs.
How much bandwidth you need depends on what you are doing, and how many people are doing it.
You also need to have a solid understanding of your organisation’s current and future technology needs.
Here at CT, we work with a massive array of organisations with extremely different needs. However, we will always look to the future needs of a business before offering our advice on the right connectivity options.
It’s crucial to remember that having a true high speed internet connection will allow you to take advantage of newer solutions like cloud services, hosted email, offsite backup and remote access, without impacting on your other operations. This can improve efficiency and mobility, and enhance disaster recovery.
As CT has direct interconnects with all the UK major carriers, we can provide the most appropriate connectivity solution to our customers, at the best possible price.
Ethernet circuits are based on Openreach’s Ethernet Access Direct (EAD) product (apart from Virgin On-net where their equivalent is installed). EAD is designed to be a mission-critical service with low failure rates, with a prompt response should a fault occur. A dedicated fibre optic cable is run into the customer’s premises from the local telephone exchange.
The customer end is fitted with a device which presents an Ethernet port (copper on 100Mbps bearer or fibre optic on 1Gbps bearer) which is then connected to the customer’s router.
The exchange end is connected into the carrier’s equipment in the telephone exchange which is then routed through their network to our carrier interconnect.
The bandwidth allocated to the service is then guaranteed and the customer can expect to always be able to achieve the quoted bandwidth provisioned.
As this service is provided over a dedicated cable which is tested and certified before handover, the reliability of the service is excellent.
Service faults are rare, should they occur they are treated with priority by Openreach.
Additional resilience to the circuit between the customer’s premises and the telephone exchange can be provided using Resilience Options 1 and 2;
- RO1—1 CPE with two diverse paths which automatically failover in the event of a fault.
- RO2—2 CPEs at different building entry points with diverse paths which are treated as separate services.
Additional resilience to the circuit between the telephone exchange and CT can be provided by provisioning the circuit over both of our carrier interconnects.
Ethernet over FTTC
FTTC circuits are based on Openreach’s Generic Ethernet Access product which are presented to the carrier within the telephone exchange in a similar manner to EAD circuits. This allows the carrier to present the connection to us in the same way as an Ethernet circuit.
Although the carrier would treat these as an Ethernet service it’s important to remember the FTTC part that Openreach provides is still treated as a regular broadband service should a fault occur.
Ethernet in the First Mile
EFM circuits are based on a bundle of regular telephone lines (Openreach’s Metallic Path Facilities product).
MPF circuits are connected inside the telephone exchange to the carriers MSAN (Multi Service Access Node).
The MSAN is then configured to treat the group of circuits as a single circuit which is then routed through the carrier’s network in the same manner as an Ethernet circuit.
Although the carrier would treat EFM as an Ethernet service it’s important to remember Openreach would treat it as a regular phone line. The technology used to provide EFM is a variant on DSL which is not renowned for reliability.
ADSL and FTTC technology was designed to provide low cost and relatively high bandwidth services over existing copper wires (that can be decades old) to home users where the reliability of a service isn’t critical.
The investment made by Openreach into the maintenance and repairs of these services is reflected in the price point required for home users. Broadband services are useful for teleworkers or as a backup to an Ethernet service, they are not intended to support mission critical services.