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UPD AAISP UK Run First Live Trial of New FTTC Etherway Business Broadband

Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2012 (7:58 am) - Score 1,244

Bracknell-based ISP Andrews & Arnold (AAISP) has this week claimed to be the first UK provider to trial BT’s new FTTC based Etherway service, which combines the low cost of Fibre-to-the-Cabinet technology with the “simplicity, high reliability and performance” of Ethernet for a more affordable and faster business broadband product.

The new product, which will eventually become available via “ultra-fastFibre-to-the-Premises lines once the two services meet (FTTP only has a tiny coverage), is expected to be rolled-out over the course of this year and should provide a nice mid-range alternative to expensive copper based EFM and Fibre (EAD) services to the exchange.

Adrian Kennard, Director of Andrews & Arnold, said:

With the Ethernet services we can offer what was traditionally called a leased line connecting a customer to us with low latency and low, or zero, contention (sharing). The service has low target fix times for faults and is very reliable and flexible. We can connect people to two separate data centres at the same time for extra reliability, and provide dual router functioning (VRRP) for zero packet loss router maintenance on our network. This is normally provided as a fibre direct to the premises with accompanying cost and lead time (and digging up of the road in many cases).

FTTC on the other hand is quick and cheap to install and has lower running costs. FTTC is widely used for broadband, but normally makes use of the shared broadband back-haul infrastructure. This is more costly for high data usage, and suffers from outages for maintenance on BRASs and LNSs and so on.

By combining the two we can offer high quality Internet access using Ethernet back-haul but at a sensible price for a truely all you can eat service. This is still too much for most home users, but ideal for any business needing a proper Internet connection. BT even offer a 7 hour target fix time, 24/7, on these services.”

Unfortunately AAISP admits that its first FTTC Etherway customer “does not yet work” and BT’s promised 7 hour fix time target has already turned into 4 days. But that’s perhaps to be expected from such a new service and might have been avoided had the operator allowed AAISP to conduct a proper trial prior to launch; in any case AAISP expect this to be “fixed soon“.

As for the price, Kennard hints that costs will vary depending on location and what speed you want. A rough estimate based on a typical quote for 2M-10Mb/s burstable (5:1) is around £190 +vat per month (remember this is a low-contention business grade solution and shouldn’t be compared with shared home services). By contrast an 8M-40M service on the same line is around £404 per month. Other ISPs may well launch cheaper solutions.

In terms of speed the service should technically be able to achieve whatever a normal FTTC line can, which means up to a maximum of almost 80Mbps download.

UPDATE 11th July 2012

After suffering over 4 days of problems the service now appears to be working.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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