Finding the perfect data connection to meet the demands of your business


Symmetric - EFM (Ethernet in the First Mile)

Also called ELM. This Ethernet over copper service provides most of the benefits of fibre Ethernet at a lower price point and usually with a faster installation time. It uses sophisticated hardware bonding of multiple G.SHDSL services running over EPS8/EPS9 Baseband circuits to achieve speeds up to 40Mb symmetrical with SLA’s. By using between 2 and 8 bearer circuits this technology is resilient to partial circuit loss and will simply run at a lower speed until fixed.

There are 4 distinct services available from 3 providers and each is packaged differently. In order of maturity they are:

Easynet SureStream (technically bonded SDSL but packaged like EFM)

Historically this was offered at speeds of 2-8Mb but since the cost of 8Mb was reduced to that of the old 2Mb then it is effectively a fixed 8Mb service. It is available at over 1000 exchanges and will provide a real 8Mb at distances up to 2.5Km using 4 circuits with just 6 weeks delivery lead time.

Easynet EtherStream

This offers speeds of 4-40Mb using up to 8 circuits. Distance from the exchange determines the maximum speed with a 1Km maximum for speeds of 20Mb or more. Lower speed circuits can reach to 2.5Km or even 4Km in extended reach mode (by doubling the number of circuits). EtherStream is available on a few hundred exchanges on 4 weeks lead time. Additional exchanges can be enabled against a single customer order with a 3 year commitment but the lead time goes out to 18 weeks.


21CN underpins BT rollout of new services. On an enabled exchange they will offer ADSL2+ and may offer EFM. By the end of 2011 there were some 1100 EFM enabled exchanges. The service offers 2-10Mb using up to 8 circuits with a lead time of 6 weeks. The maximum reach is claimed to be 4.8Km and BT will define the contractual speed and price based on distance from exchange.


TalkTalk Business is the latest entrant with a somewhat different proposition. The service is offered with 2 or 4 circuits without any speed commitment so distance from exchange comes into play, just like ADSL. The service potentially offers speeds from 2-40Mb with a maximum reach of 3.9Km. Lead times vary by exchange as the service is still being rolled out to some 2700 exchanges. If the exchange is already enabled it can be as little as 5 weeks rising to 9-18 weeks for others.