Is Fibre Broadband Or A Fibre Leased Line Best For Your Business?

Fibre broadband or fibre leased line

 

What is the difference between Fibre Broadband (FTTC) and a dedicated Fibre Leased Line?

Which is best for your business?

Well, the answer depends on a number of factors:

  • Your use of the Internet,
  • The number of users you have
  • How critical the internet is to your operations

Before we get into that, let’s look at a few differences between these two services.

Why is there such a significant price difference between Fibre Broadband and Leased Lines?

People see the cost of an ‘up to 80Mbps’ Fibre Broadband service and compare this to a 10Mbps Leased Line service and wonder why a ‘slower’ Leased Line service costs more.

Well, for starters, the Fibre Broadband ‘up to’ speed isn’t a guarantee; it’s an estimate of what they will get in the best case scenario.

A Leased Line speed delivers what it says it’s going to deliver, 50Mbps is 50Mbps, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, uncontended, dedicated to them. Its cost is based on three main factors:

  • Location – The greater the distance, the higher the costs. Initial installation costs are also be affected by how much infrastructure is already in the area and how complicated it will be to deliver a dedicated Fibre line direct into their premises

FTTC, on the other hand, is delivered through the local cabinet. Availability is dictated by whether that particular cabinet has been upgraded to provide FTTC

  • BandwidthMore bandwidth equals more cost.  Leased Line providers like our supplier (Chicane Internet) use a selection of different carriers. Certain carriers will make the cost of particular bandwidths more attractive, so you should always get a selection of speeds and carriers on your quote.

It’s also worth noting that Leased Lines provide symmetric upload and download speeds (FTTC is still an asymmetric service). If you run cloud or web-based applications (i.e. they are uploading large amounts of data to a central area) the contended, asymmetric nature of FTTC is not fit for purpose

  • CompetitionBeing based in the middle of a city, or a remote rural location has a big effect.  Generally the more rural, the fewer the number of carriers available, and therefore less competition fighting for the business. So prices are keener in highly populated business hubs than rural locations

How you use the internet

A Leased Line option might be best if:

  • You have a large number of users
  • You use cloud or web-based services to run your operations
  • Your organisation will lose revenue if your Internet connection goes down

If your internet connection is business critical, you should opt for the Leased Line.

This is because it comes with a full-Service Level Agreement (SLA) and Service Level Guarantee (SLG) while also giving you automatic failover in the event of an outage and a four hr response time to service issues.

FTTC has the same SLA as Broadband (i.e. any service issues or outages are responded to by Openreach engineers on a best efforts basis), which could be one day or five days, as there is no SLA/SLG with this service.

Hopefully, that has given you a bit more of an idea about which option is best for your business.

For an informal discussion about your business connectivity and which solution may be best for you, give me a call on 01449 770704 or email Shelli on enquiries@mpmit.co.uk.

 

 

Ofcom’s New “Gaining Provider Led” Process Makes Switching Broadband Provider a Piece of Cake

Switching ISPs is a piece of cake

 

As a consumer there are a number of reasons for changing your broadband provider: dissatisfaction of your existing service, a need for something cheaper or faster, or a need for a service that’s more capable of your existing one.

In the past, the switching process has been rather cumbersome, but now there’s some good news. From 20th June 2015 new Ofcom regulations came into force (for switches of broadband services provided over Openreach’s network) meaning that you no longer have to get in touch with your losing provider to initiate the switch.

The new “gaining provider led” process removes the need for a “MAC” (Migration Authority Code) from your losing provider, allowing your gaining provider to initiate the transfer at your request, managing the whole process on your behalf.

This single switching process is obviously going to make your life much easier. In essence the new system works like this:

1. You contact your chosen gaining ISP and ask to switch (this begins an automatic cancellation of your old service with your existing provider).

2. The gaining ISP begins the order process by using your existing telephone number and postcode (sent via an electronic gateway for validation). If the number and postcode are incorrect the order will be rejected.

3. Your old (losing) ISP is notified of the switch by the electronic gateway.

4. The gaining (new) ISP sends you a Notification of Transfer letter.

5. Your old provider sends you a similar switching letter outlining any exit fees or other issues that may impact your service. However, they cannot use special offers or discounts to try and tempt you from stopping the switch.

6. If you change your mind, you have a minimum of 10 working days to contact your new ISP to stop the switch.

7. If no cancellation is received within the 10 day transfer period your service is officially switched.

All-in-all a much speedier service.

MPM IT is an authorised reseller for Chicane. If you’re looking for a new ISP and Chicane ticks all the boxes, call us on 01449 770704 or 07733 262116 for more information.

 

 

Chicane

BT Fall Short of Their 25% Fibre Coverage of the UK

This post is a summary of the report produced by Barry Collins for PCPro.

Once upon a time, BT promised to deliver fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) to 25% of the country, with the rest catered for by the slower fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), which uses copper wiring to deliver the final stretch of the connection.

Recently, however BT was forced to admit that only 0.7% of the UK can get a full end-to-end fibre (FTTP) broadband service from the company. That means it passes just 144,000 premises, although the actual uptake is “much lower”.

This poses the question whether BT’s fibre roll out (supported by hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money) is sufficiently future-proof, with copper wire likely to become the bottleneck when the company seeks to boost broadband speeds in the years to come. FTTP, on the other hand, provides almost limitless potential for future speed increases.

There’s already a huge discrepancy between FTTP download speeds, which top out at 330Mbits/sec on BT’s network, and FTTC, which has a maximum speed of 80Mbits/sec. FTTC speeds also drop off the further the customer is from their local cabinet.

True fibre?

This revelation came about when BT responded to a complaint made by two members of the public who claimed that describing the copper-based FTTP connections as “fibre-optic broadband” was misleading.

BT argued that:

“The enormous increase in the availability of FTTC broadband since 2008 meant that customers were far more likely than they had previously been to understand exactly what FTTC was and were consequently less likely to be misled by the use of the terms ‘fibre optic'”.

The Advertising Standards Authority sided with BT, ruling that:

“Consumers who might be interested in ‘fibre optic’ broadband of one sort or another would primarily be concerned with the improved speed and performance which could be delivered in comparison to an ADSL connection, and the cost at which that service could be obtained, rather than being concerned with obtaining the most technologically advanced fibre optic product available at any cost”.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Have You Gone For the Ultra-fast Broadband Scheme?

The government’s broadband voucher scheme should have reached 200,000 small businesses, however with the March 2015 deadline fast approaching, only 3,000 businesses have taken up the vouchers.

The idea behind the scheme was to help get ultra-fast broadband to small and medium sized businesses to help create a network of super-connected cities around the UK including London. Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Cambridge.

Only companies with fewer than 250 workers are eligible to apply and the uptake as been disappointing.

To try to turn things around, their website has now been redesigned to create a more streamlined process, plus:

  • Qualifying businesses no longer have to fill in an application form, but can access the government grant with a call to a pre-approved broadband supplier

  • Businesses that already have a different supplier in mind need only to fill in a form to get their quote approved

  • Suppliers can also apply to BDUK (the group overseeing the process) with a set of eligible connection costs, cutting the need for businesses to apply at all

  • Once a broadband package has been approved, suppliers can market it to eligible businesses with no more need for forms or rubber-stamping (source: BBC)

If you are interested to see whether your business qualifies for the scheme, head over to the Connection Vouchers website for more information.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Broadband Companies Must Use Plain English

When was the last time you had to contact your broadband provider because of slow connection, broadband servicedropping connection or general uselessness?

Did you get a good result or, like many other people, were you left scratching your head at the response you received?

Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that the consumer watchdog Which? has thrown its toys out if its pram and told the broadband companies that they must cut out the jargon and give consumers information they can understand when having trouble with their connections.

Back in 2010, Ofcom tried a similar tact introducing it’s “Broadband Speeds Code of Practice”. It states that when a prospective customer rings to enquire about how fast their new broadband connection might be, the IPS must:

Ensure that the access line speed information provided within the sales process is a range which is equivalent to the access line speeds achieved by the 20th to 80th percentiles of the ISP’s similar customers (i.e. customers with similar line characteristics). The ISP should also explain to the consumer that the range of access line speeds provided is only an estimate and that if the consumer receives an access line speed which is significantly below this range then the customer should contact the ISP. If asked to explain further or asked to state the definition of “significantly below”, the ISP should provide information on the access line speed achieved by the bottom 10th percentile (or above) of the ISP’s similar customers (”the minimum guaranteed access line speed”) and explain that if the customer’s actual access line speed is below the minimum guaranteed access line speed, then it will follow the process set out in the 4th Principle.

If you’re unsure about what the 4th Principle is, it is:

Log the problem as a technical fault if the actual access line speed is at or below the minimum guaranteed access line speed, or if it is otherwise appropriate to do so. As soon as possible after the problem is logged as a technical fault, the ISP must tell the customer their minimum guaranteed access line speed and explain that if the technical fault cannot be fixed then the customer will have the opportunity to leave their contract immediately and without any penalty provided this is within a three month period of the start of their contract (or longer if the ISP so chooses).

Hmmm, if that’s Ofcom’s idea of plain English best practice, there’s not a lot of hope.

The best thing we can suggest is persevere if you have to phone your ISP and keep asking questions until you get the clarity of answer you’re looking for. Fingers crossed the Which? ultimatum is heeded and broadband companies realise what most other marketers have known for years – the language you use when dealing with customers should be easy to understand and jargon free.

We can but hope.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.
Inspiration for this post came from PC Pro.

When Will I Get Better Broadband?

As a follower of our blog you would have read several posts about the Better Broadband for Suffolk better broadband for suffolkcampaign.

It is expected that, by 2015, all premises in Suffolk will have at least 2Mbps with 90% being served by fibre and 85% getting over 24Mbps.

It’s all well and good reading about the promises, but when will you actually get this new faster broadband service?

To find out, head over to our website and take a look at the broadband internet providers page and click on the Better Broadband for Suffolk logo. This will take you to their website where you can find what progress is happening in your area of Suffolk.

Once on the site, at the bottom of the page click on “Click to show coverage in your area” and you’ll be shown a map indicating when Better Broadband is due to arrive in your area. The dates shown are an approximation of the roll out timetable so may change.

To get started all you have to do is enter your post code.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

 

Better Broadband for Suffolk Gets a £5m Boost

Following on from our last update on the progress of Suffolk’s Better Broadband campaign, we just had to bring  you this latest news.

According to the East Anglian Daily Times, Suffolk has been given nearly £5million to extend its broadband coverage to more of the county.

The funding has come from the Government’s Superfast Extension Programme, which is designed to give 95% of the UK access to superfast broadband by 2017.

As a result the current work of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme can now be extended to include some of Suffolk’s hardest to reach rural communities

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee is reported to have said: “We are only half a year into the delivery of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme and we’re already looking at how we can take it to the next level.

“Our current commitment to making superfast speeds available to 85% of Suffolk homes and businesses is only the beginning. We want to push forward so that even more people are able to benefit.”

We’ll keep you posted of any further developments.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

What Is Broadband Anyway?

Over the months, we have reported on what’s happening with Suffolk’s bid to get faster broadband.

The project will finally provide Suffolk with world class broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps by the end of 2015. Some lucky areas will have access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to 330Mbps and, from Spring 2013, anyone in a FTTC enabled area can upgrade to FTTP ‘on demand’ if they need faster speeds.

Fantastic.

But what exactly is FTTC and FTTP?

Well, they are the 2 different ways in which your broadband can be delivered from the exchange: fibre to cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to premises (FTTP).

FTTC uses fibre-optic cables right up to the street cabinet, when it then uses copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. This gives wholesale download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps.

FTTP, on the other hand, means fibre-optic cables run right to your door, providing wholesale download speeds of up to 330Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps.

The BT Openreach video below explains more.

The investment will help Suffolk’s economy and enabling businesses to work more effectively in new ways with its customers.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Suffolk’s Plans For Fibre Based Broadband

Back in August was the last time we brought you the latest news on Suffolk’s faster broadband progress, so we thought it about time we updated you.

The map below gives you a visual idea of when you can expect faster broadband in your area of Suffolk.

suffolkboardband

If you go to the Better Broadband for Suffolk website, you can enter your postcode to find out what is available to you.

The map shows the approximate roll out timetable, but of course, is subject to change.

The most alarming thing on the map is the amount of white – areas beyond the current planned fibre based broadband roll out. Considering the number of businesses we have in this part of the world, it’s sad to see the county will still have gaping holes in its faster broadband provision. The only glimmer of hope is that, again, its subject to change, so fingers crossed.

According to Better Broadband for Suffolk, they are ahead of schedule in their works towards achieving 90% fibre coverage by 2015.

We’ll keep you updated on their progress.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Which Broadband Provider Gets The Most Complaints?

Do you love a good moan about your broadband?

Unless you’re fortunate enough to be living in a large urban area and have access to super fast broadband, you’re probably putting up with slow speeds and drop outs.

That would seem especially so if you’re an EE customer. According to a recent article in Computer Weekly, the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile has been named the most complained about broadband provider for the 5th consecutive quarter.

It receives double the average number of complaints from users – 0.45 complaints per 1,000 customers – mainly related to billing and service faults. Not only that, it didn’t fare too well when it came to pay monthly mobile services.

Not encouraging reading if you’re an EE customer.

In comparison Virgin Media received the least complaints (broadband services), although its mobile service received more than the industry average number of complaints for the first time in 2 years.

So, who is the best?

Well, that plaudit goes, once again, to O2. It held the position of least complained about mobile operator for the 11th quarter in a row with just 0.03 complaints per 1,000 customers.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.