UK’s answer to FTTH in the form of Ethernet in The First Mile

BSkyB's broadband arm, Easynet has launched UK's first Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) service over copper using eight bonded pairs of copper last week.

While the current physical ceiling is 5.7Mbps (or 45.6Mbps for the eight pairs) Easynet will be offering only 24Mbps, possibly expanding afterwards. This constraint is due mainly to BT's own restrictions on local loop unbundling rather than Easynet own will.

EFM is the name given to a set of specifications that allow the Ethernet Protocol, widely used in Networking, to be used over media such as telephone wires and so on, effectively breathing new life in the POTS (plain old telephone system).

EFM is touted as a low cost alternative to Fibre to the Home (FTTH) which is popular in the Far East and has been credited with the growing penetration of extra high speeds access in Korea and Japan.

For the time being, EFM is being limited to small and medium businesses who can afford to pay £19K annually to get a real 10Mbps line.