Opal Unveils Ethernet in the First Mile for the Channel

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Telecoms provider Opal, the b2b arm of the TalkTalk Group, has added Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) to complete its data connectivity portfolio for its channel partners, adding an innovative and affordable bonded copper product that ensures reliability and boosts commercial productivity for a wide variety of end users.

Opal’s EFM offering will benefit from their extensive Next Generation Network, accepting orders on over 1,500 Ethernet enabled exchanges. This allows end users access to a full range of synchronous Ethernet services delivered over bonded copper for bandwidths from 2Mb – 16Mb in addition to the existing portfolio of fibre based products for the 10Mb through to 1Gb range.

The inherent resilience built into bonded copper EFM significantly reduces the risk of line failure for businesses and enables access to high availability business quality synchronous services at an affordable price. Less costly than fibre-based Ethernet services, EFM is a robust and inexpensive option for businesses that demand a faster data service than standard ADSL but can’t afford the cost of fibre based Ethernet.

Opal Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) uses either two or four pairs of copper wires combined to create a single synchronous connection that is super fast – with speeds up to 16 Mbps symmetrical – with inherent highly reliability. Should there be a fault on any of the pairs, EFM does not drop the service like traditional single pair delivery. The resilient architecture for last mile delivery allows the service to remain live at a reduced speed until the problem is fixed, ensuring the impact on the end applications are minimised. If an outage does occur, businesses are covered by a service level agreement which guarantees that resolution will be achieved within a six-hour window.

Although the speed of an EFM circuit depends on the distance from the end customer’s office to the local serving exchange, Opal’s network covers over 1,500 UK Ethernet exchanges, enabling low cost access for businesses up to 4km from the exchange.

Lance Spencer Head of Data Network Services at Opal, said: “Opal EFM is extremely resilient and is an efficient use of our existing, proven Next Generation Network infrastructure. It enables us to maximise the use of over 1,500 Ethernet enabled exchanges, giving us a wider reach than any other EFM provider in the UK market. As end users look to ways of minimising cost whilst maximising productivity, they have historically had to make the choice between low cost traditional broadband and relatively expensive fibre-based Ethernet, we believe our EFM offering is an ideal solution to the needs of small and medium sized business sites today. We have pushed this proposition in the channel first, as resellers have already proven their ability to embrace new technology first.”

To use EFM, either two or four dedicated data-only copper pairs and associated wall sockets, are installed. A qualified engineer will install Opal’s own network terminating equipment, providing the site with an RJ45 Ethernet interface, allowing standard customer premises equipment to be connected to provide businesses with the most cost effective, resilient Ethernet Service in the UK Market.