I am looking at replacing our ADSL connection with something rather faster. FTTC is looking very tempting, but I was wondering if there was good reason for me to be pushing for more expensive solutions like Ethernet First Mile.
We're a small primary with 60 simultaneous users at the very most. We are also close to an exchange - promised speeds of 60.7Mbps download on FTTC speed checkers.
Do I need to be concerned about contention with an FTTC package? I have not been able to find any figures for FTTC contention ratios - it would be nice to know how this varied between different packages and providers.
FTTC is great for most primary schools. I've written a big post on this topic before but as always I can't find it :)
FTTC is an "up to" service. BT will only commit to ISP's such as ourslves and others a guaranteed speed of 12Mbit of download for 95% of the time during the busiest 3 hour peak period. You can pay a bit more and get elevated best efforts which increases this to 16Mbit download. We put this on as standard on all connections.
it's important to understand that BT will generally be able to provide much faster speeds than this to the ISP and generally do although we sometimes see slow down from them when their network is busy.
BT sell FTTC to us by charging us for the bandwidth we use over our pipe into them. This is not charged on the bandwidth uploaded / downloaded, but the maximum speed over the pipe when all connections are aggregated. e.g. if we peak at say 208Mbit over our pipe then BT will charge us £x per Mbit.
There is no contention ratio as such on the pipes, it's about managing your users and spreading your bandwidth effectively. Anyone can sell FTTC for next to nothing but massively contend their pipes into BT. No ISP will tell you what this is though. In my opinion it's about managing expectations and giving a good level of service.
EFM is good and gives guaranteed bandwidth but is much more expensive that FTTC.
We do though have a new product which is about to be launched and we are looking for trialists. It's a 1:1 contention FTTC known as GEA FTTC. It's effectively a leased line and guarantees bandwidth from BT back to us and is not delivered with all of our other normal FTTC users so we can do a true 1:1 end to end FTTC.
let me know if you're interested and I could possibly get you on the trial.
Also FTTP on demand will be here as of April next year which will gives speeds of up to 330Mbit. This will be expensive though.
If you've any more questions do let me know.
Contended within the local network, even if a Fiber Node (Exchange) was contended as an end user you'd still get better service than a contended ADSL Line (Leased Line or not).
It does all depend on the Contention ratios with FTTC and as Schoolsbroadband says it might not necessarily be to do with the contention at the local exchange. I've been working with some EFM lines recently and apart from ISP mess ups (assigning the same IP's to two clients!) they have been very reliable. Although the cost might be a tad much for a primary school.
Originally Posted by cpjitservices
Thank you for your thoughts, especially to SchoolsBroadband/Dave for a really solid explanation.
That's an exciting offer. Whether we would be interested would likely come down to the probable price for GEA once released. If I give SchoolsBroadband a call, would you be able to tell me roughly how it will compare to normal FTTC?
Originally Posted by SchoolsBroadband
If we were on normal FTTC, am I right in thinking it might be relatively easy to upgrade to GEA FTTC at a later time?
Originally Posted by Jollity
Hi again, sorry for the late reply we've been selling broadband in Oxfordshire :)
At the moment we don't have any pricing details or info on if a standard FTTC can be ugpraded to the special GEA FTTC. Sorry I can't be of much more help at the moment but this new product is literally hot off the press. I'm hoping to have more info by the end of the week / middle of next week.
Best send me a PM with your details and I'll get in touch as soon as I know some pricing and have some more definitive products specs.
if anyone else is interested on going on a trial at a very good price then do let me know!