There are different telco (telecommunications company) circuits that schools can use to connect you into the network. Different technologies are available in different areas and like with most things in life, the more money schools are prepared to spend, the better the service you will receive. Regardless of what technology you use, you still end up in HfL Broadband.
Here is a high level overview of some of the telco circuits we currently deliver:
Fibre leased line
This is how all secondary schools, as well as some primary schools, connect into the network. It is a fibre line that connects the school with their local BT exchange, giving it a direct route and a guaranteed bandwidth. This technology provides the same download and upload speed making it a symmetrical service. This uncontended (unshared) fibre connection is a premium circuit.
Fibre leased lines are delivered on 100mbps bearers and 1gbps bearers. A school may have a 100mbps bandwidth on a 100mbps bearer. This means they are at capacity and to increase their internet speed, a bearer upgrade will be required. Alternatively, a school may be on a 100mbps bandwidth on a 1gbps bearer. If this school wishes to increase their speed a configuration change at the telco’s end will be required, making it easier to upgrade should a school’s internet usage outgrow their existing internet speed.
Ethernet over fibre to the cabinet/fibre to the cabinet (EoFTTC/FTTC)
This is similar to the type of fibre service you may get at home. Schools are connected through a copper line to their fibre-ready green street cabinet. There it will connect into BT’s fibre infrastructure. This technology provides a faster download than upload speed, making it an asymmetrical service. Schools can only use this technology if BT have rolled out their fibre service (BT Infinity) in the local area. Some fibre delivered schools have an FTTC circuit as a backup line for added resilience.
Ethernet first mile (EFM)
Should EoFTTC/FTTC not be available, schools will typically be connected using this service. EFM is a copper connection typically delivering slower speeds than EoFTTC/FTTC. It does however provider the same download and upload speed making it a symmetrical service and is delivered using several copper lines providing added resilience. If one copper line has a fault, the service will continue but on a reduced bandwidth. It is also an uncontended service and will deliver guaranteed speeds.
If you have any queries on this, or would like to explore ways of increasing your internet speed, please get in touch.