This is the most common form of connectivity around today (2015). It is the replacement of the modem as a form of connecting to the Internet. The technical name for such a circuit is a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and a broadband circuit might often be described as an ADSL circuit.

The A stands for asymmetric which means that the upload and download capabilities of the service are not the same. This is why broadband circuits often have much higher download speeds (traffic towards the customer premises) than upload speeds (traffic away from the customer premises). Broadband services are contended which means that they are shared between a number of users/companies at the local Exchange. This often results in reduced performance at busy times on the Exchange as lots of users are trying to send and receive data at the same time. Broadband circuits use copper connectivity (telephone lines) to deliver the service. Broadband circuits can be combined (bonded) although the performance is not necessarily increased by a ‘full’ circuit each time another instance is added.

There are different levels of broadband available at various costs depending on the amount of bandwidth and the amount of contention. Interhost use ADSL as a backup service rather than a primary connectivity method.


Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) involves running fibre optic cables from the telephone exchange or distribution point to the street cabinets which then connect to a standard phone line to provide broadband.

Fibre broadband is a new type of broadband that is currently being deployed in the UK which uses fibre optic cables to help increase the speed of your broadband connection. It is often referred to as 'super-fast broadband' or 'next-generation broadband' as it offers faster speeds than have been available to date using older generation networks.


Fibre leased lines are used by businesses to connect geographically distant offices. Unlike dial-up connections a leased line is always active. The fee for the connection is a fixed monthly rate. The primary factors affecting the monthly fee are distance between end points and the speed of the circuit. Because the connection is not shared with anyone else, and only carries communications between the offices, the carrier can ensure a level of quality and security across the circuit.

The ‘pipe’ that carries the data on the circuit is called the bearer. There are typically three fibre bearer speeds; 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1000Mbps. The Committed information rate(CIR) can be varied for each bearer. For example 20/100Mbs, 30/100Mbs, 100/1000Mbs, 200/1000Mbs and so on. The bigger the bearer, the higher the speed that can be achieved.


This is a leased line service that runs over copper in a similar way to broadband but the contention is removed and the service is symmetric (upload and download are the same).

EFM stands for ‘Ethernet First Mile’ which is referring to the link between the customer premises and the Exchange. EFM circuits bond copper lines and as a result speeds from 2Mbs up to 30Mbs can be achieved depending on distance from the exchange. EFM is a cost effective way of delivering a lease line grade service where Fibre isn’t available.