BT Infinity or EFM leased line?

Discussion in 'IT & Internet' started by Viscount, Oct 29, 2010.

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  1. Viscount

    Viscount UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    Were about to get our first servers and its been suggested to us that we may need to upgrade our broadband connections. We are going to be running our own email server and will have maybe up to 5 similtaneous VPN connections coming in.

    Currently we have standard BT business broadband but we've been recommended to get leased line which on the face of it looks like its just the ticket, albeit at a significant cost increase per month.

    I have had some quotes from BT regarding BT net EFM
    2M BT Net EFM for £280 per month
    4M BT Net EFM on a 4M bearer £380 per month
    and so on with the 2m being a 2m upload/download rate and 0 contention

    Then I've also seen that they are rolling out Infinity business fibre broadband with a up to 40mb download and 10mb upload, plus a "Prioritised traffic - 16Mb throughput" which sounds a bit like a contention ratio all for a tiny £45 per month.

    On the basic stats the fibre broadband sounds far better value for money and far quicker than the EFM leased line.
    But is it?

    Has anyone had experience of relatively low 2m and 4m EFM internet connections and can tell me what its like?

    Has anyone got fibre broadband for their business and can they tell me what thats like?

    and lastly which one would you go for and why?
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: Viscount Member since: Apr 21, 2008
  2. stugster

    stugster UKBF Legend Full Member

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    My first thoughts would be what kind of usage you're doing. You'd be better off putting on some network monitoring software for a week or two to see what data you're pushing through and how much. Then you can make a better informed decision.

    It might be that setting up a few different BT business broadband lines is cheaper and offers more redundancy should one fall over, it might be that a fibre line is better. But to be really safe, get to know your data needs before spending any cash.
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: stugster Member since: Feb 1, 2007
  3. paultnl

    paultnl UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    840 176
    Looks a bit over kill for just running a mail server and a few VPN's what bandwidth do you expect to use?

    Just saw Stugster beat me to it.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: paultnl Member since: Jan 23, 2009
  4. Viscount

    Viscount UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    Banwidth and usage is really unknown to me.
    We've previously had no server and pop3 email and we're going to Exchange 2010 with 70 odd users and some limited VPN access. Limited - because no one has had the ability to do this before so were going from nothing to something.
    Also we will have 50 computers attached to the broadband connection whereas before it was only 20.
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: Viscount Member since: Apr 21, 2008
  5. stugster

    stugster UKBF Legend Full Member

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    Sounds like you want to get yourself someone in that knows what they're doing to be honest mate. Don't do this on your own, you'll end up regretting it and could make a costly mistake.
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: stugster Member since: Feb 1, 2007
  6. consultant

    consultant Your Business Community Staff Member

    5,591 776
    On that cost, get your own server in a data centre - you will save a fortune and can have a thrid party pro manage the connections/hardware etc.

    In this day and age, why smaller companies (genralisation, not specific to the OP) would want to run their own email servers, when there are systems like google apps is beyond me!

    NOTE - when I first started my own businesses, I wanted to keep everything in house, to keep costs down. At the time, it was right, but now, I wouldn't do it!

    VPN is a different issue, but nowerdays, I believe remote access via VPN is becoming less of a need, as many systems can be internet (I will not say cloud) based - file sharing, accounts, admin etc.

    Stugster is also right - get a pro involved!
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: consultant Member since: Jan 21, 2008
  7. cjd

    cjd UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    15,449 3,074
    BT Infinity is an excellent product, we have one of our people trialling it now but those figures are 'perfect world' - you'll get a fraction of it and as more users are added it will reduce. it's still a great product though -ATM.

    However, without usage figures you can't make a decision. Start with a normal connection and work up?
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: cjd Member since: Nov 23, 2005
  8. Jim2k

    Jim2k UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    835 144
    Agree with all the comments above. Without an accurate idea of your bandwidth usage, you may find you are being sold a product that is massive over kill.
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: Jim2k Member since: Apr 21, 2010
  9. Viscount

    Viscount UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    To Strugster and Consultant. Thank you for your comments, however we are going the internal server route and its not what I am asking advice about, that was just background info.

    I really want to know whether EFM is better than infinity or vice versa?
    And does anyone here have experience of either (and they are in a similar situation)?

    I have asked the BT chap whom I got the quote from, he's not an engineer and didn't know the answer either.
    For the moment were going to go with the current broadband connection and see how it goes. But if we do decide we need something better what would that 'better something' be?
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: Viscount Member since: Apr 21, 2008
  10. stugster

    stugster UKBF Legend Full Member

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    The something better would be getting it right first time. You'll be looking at a 1-2 year minimum contract on the BT line. For the sake of getting an IT professional in, you're saving a big wad of cash.
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: stugster Member since: Feb 1, 2007
  11. djwellis

    djwellis UKBF Regular Free Member

    124 9
    I would personally consider a pair of broadband lines.
    One for the internet access and an email SMTP feed to the exchange server.

    One for the VPN users, RPC over HTTP, etc.

    If it's not enough - then you can upgrade to a more expensive solution.
    Posted: Oct 29, 2010 By: djwellis Member since: Apr 14, 2009
  12. Dwebs-Ltd

    Dwebs-Ltd UKBF Ace Full Member

    2,069 264
    I would strongly suggest you have a word with Peter Knapp from > [email protected]

    He is the man to speak to for anything related to leased lines, they have connectivity all over the place so they can usually hook you up with a better option than messing around with BT directly.
    Posted: Oct 30, 2010 By: Dwebs-Ltd Member since: Nov 29, 2007
  13. stugster

    stugster UKBF Legend Full Member

    9,346 2,078
    What do you do with the two redundant lines you've just subscribed to for a minimum of 2 years then?
    Posted: Oct 30, 2010 By: stugster Member since: Feb 1, 2007
  14. NetwiseHosting

    NetwiseHosting UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    621 136
    Hi Viscount,

    We have explored Leased Lines in huge depth 6 months or so ago and I would be more then willing to share our experiences with you and the differences between leased line and broadband solutions, feel free to drop me a PM and we can have a chat.
    Kind regards,

    Posted: Oct 30, 2010 By: NetwiseHosting Member since: Jun 16, 2009
  15. ccsleedsltd

    ccsleedsltd UKBF Contributor Free Member

    85 28


    Thanks for the mention.

    Re the post OP, I suspect if EFM is available at his/her site, then there would also be the option of low/zero contention ADSL services too.

    Although there are no details of the location of the OP, for a handful of VPN users and email/standard web traffic, a low contention ADSL (with month to month contract etc) might just fit the bill, and a potential of up to 2.5Mb/s upstream and the possibility of bonding multiples (We have a customer who receives close to 80Mb/s downstream and 10Mb/s upstream for less than £200pm with bonded adsl) I do indeed think it might be worth a quick investigation as to availability at the location before committing to EFM of fibre.

    Of course if these turn out to be unsuitable, we can also offer fibre and EFM, and based on those prices, our EFM (which is ultimately just the carrier version of BT's product without the daft markup, terminating on our network) is a sensible amount cheaper too.


    Posted: Oct 31, 2010 By: ccsleedsltd Member since: Oct 31, 2010
  16. Experienced IT guy

    Experienced IT guy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    417 102
    Having had BT sales cold call me and tell me for the last two years that they can give me the top Broadband speed of 2M (or whatever it is) at some cost or other, I ask them is that the absolute top speed I can get? They allways assure me it is. I then ask why with My O2 connection I'm getting 7MB at home (512 upload IIRC) and 16MB in the office (1 MB upload) (Just measured it). Give O2 a call, they will measure the speed on your line (dependant on distance from exchange). IMHO there is a better way than BT with their appauling call centres in India.
    Posted: Oct 31, 2010 By: Experienced IT guy Member since: Mar 1, 2010
  17. chrisbarnes86

    chrisbarnes86 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    96 9
    I have the BT Business Fibre broadband. We had it installed the moment it became available in our area.

    We get close to the speeds stated and it has been very good so far. Our IT guy came in to set it up and was very impressed with the speed.
    Posted: Oct 31, 2010 By: chrisbarnes86 Member since: Oct 10, 2010
  18. NetwiseHosting

    NetwiseHosting UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    621 136
    Hi Chris,

    That's really interesting to know, thank you.

    We have been very unsure about the speed of the new fibre services with both BT and Virigin as I had heard that even though they have cut out 90% of the copper before it reaches you they were wacking a massive contention ratio on the lines and therefore sharing the allocated 40Mbps / 50Mbps with quite a few others.

    But yeah, thank you again. Not something we would use personally but we have a good number of companies we provide support for locally that are/will enquire about the service.

    Posted: Oct 31, 2010 By: NetwiseHosting Member since: Jun 16, 2009
  19. Viscount

    Viscount UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    Hi all,

    Thanks for the responses so far I can tell its a minefield.

    We do happen to have two other broadband connections in offices closely nearby that we could at some point move the lines to one office and pool together the broadband either as a redundant connection or as someone here has suggested load balance them? I guess that means more bandwidth but the same speed. Also how would you do that - two modem/routers or a device that takes two connections?

    What if we upgrade one of them of them to fibre broadband and leave the other as a backup or another type of load balancing? It would still be cheaper than EFM and faster.

    We have been offered EM by BT and they have said we can get it. We can't get fibre broadband until December when they are upgrading our exchange.
    Posted: Nov 2, 2010 By: Viscount Member since: Apr 21, 2008
  20. Newcott

    Newcott UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1,438 303
    A lease line works differently to a broadband line.

    A couple of things to take into account as it will be a 1 on 1 contention ratio - its a direct connection between you and the exchange.

    Other thing you'll have to check but I'm pretty sure BT Net's are garentee'd to have 99.8% uptime - and if it does go down you can potential file for financial compensations.

    I use to work at BT a few years back - one of the products I did so if you want to know more feel free to PM me.
    Posted: Nov 2, 2010 By: Newcott Member since: Jul 9, 2010
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