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The popularity of Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) products is continuing to increase, according to one business broadband provider.

Trefor Davies, Chief Technology Officer at Timico, said EFM is witnessing a 53 per cent growth rate at present, far in excess of that seen by traditional ADSL-based broadband.

A copper-line internet solution, EFM provides symmetrical speeds of up to 10Mb to customers within 3km of the nearest telephone exchange.

The technology is much-lauded for its reliability, as well as the high upload speeds offered by EFM connections.

Businesses in particular have been quick to adopt EFM, with faster upload speeds assisting with large data transfers and other online tasks.

Mr Davies noted that upload speeds - long ignored as secondary by broadband providers – are becoming "a critical factor".

He explained that the emergence of cloud computing, which is continuing to gain new converts, has increased the importance of faster upstream speeds.

"At Timico our ADSL sales into the business sector are still increasing but at nowhere near the rate of Ethernet," Mr Davies noted.

"Although an Ethernet circuit is of much higher value than an ADSL or fibre-to-the-cabinet line the number of lines is growing nicely."

Mr Davies explained that the first eight months of the year saw a significant rise in the number of EFM adoptions, and this trend is likely to continue.

"Firstly EFM is more reliable than ADSL and carries a Service Level Agreement," he explained.

"Secondly is the symmetrical performance – EFM can have up to 10Mb upload as well as download.

"This combination is important because companies are increasingly using resources in the cloud as part of the day to day running of their business and many of these online resources, such as VoIP, are mission critical."

Mr Davies noted that large businesses have been using Ethernet for years, but the technology is becoming more accessible to those with more limited budgets.

This is assisting small enterprises as they seek to take advantage of cloud computing services, he suggested.

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