Is this really unlimited usage?
Yes. Not only is it unlimited as in no extra costs and no fair usage policy, but also in terms of the service itself. The links are un-contended right in to transit providers, so there is no slow down at peak times. So you really can run the service full speed both ways 24 hours a day. However, bear in mind the burstable services only guarantee unlimited use of the base rate - the burst is an added bonus.
Can I resell the internet access?
We would like to know if you plan to resell the service, but generally you can. If you resell the service then you are a Communications Provider and may have to comply with some legislation. The service is unlimited usage and so is ideal for providing back-haul to the internet for services offered to people in blocks of flats and on wireless access points and so on. Our AUP applies to your customers.
What sort of lead time for an installation?
A fibre link takes time, and if there is excess construction then it can take longer. At present BT works on a lead time of 33 working days, subject to survey. It is sometimes possible for work to be done sooner but it can also take longer. Sadly, we cannot guarantee lead time, but obviously you do not start paying until the service is in and working. FTTC has a much lower lead time, so is ideal if you need a service more quickly.
What sort of SLA is there?
There is an SLA we get from BT based on 5, 7 or 24 hour fix time, and we pass on any compensation we get from BT relating directly to your service. BT also provide performance targets which are not guaranteed. These include (for fibre) 99.93% availability (higher if using redundant links) and <10ms one way latency with <3ms one way jitter. We pass on the full SLA payment we get from BT for any fault relating specifically to your line if you request within one month of the incident.
Is there a bursting option?
Yes, we offer a bursting option as well. This guarantees a lower rate and allows bursting up to 5 times that rate. A 2M-10Mb/s burstable service is cheaper than a 10Mb/s unlimited service and may be more suitable for internet access. If using more than the guaranteed rate for several hours the speed will drop but never below the guarantee rate.
Can I use BGP?
Yes. We can handle several BGP configuration options and provide consultancy and equipment for BGP handling.
Do I get an email address?
The Ethernet services provide just connectivity (and DNS resolution) and does not have any other services such as email and web space and so on. However, we sell these as separate services you can buy and use via your Ethernet internet access.
Do I need a firewall?
Technically you don't need a firewall, but for most customers it makes a lot of sense. Obviously some people will set up their machines securely and use per machine firewalls if they wish rather than a separate hardware firewall. If you are using normal desktop Windows machines a firewall is highly recommended. A firewall is not included in the service, but do ask if you need any advice.
Do I need a router?
Unlike broadband you do not need any sort of modem router, the service comes on an Ethernet port. You do need to provide power for the BT termination equipment. You may need a managed switch, or for 1Gb/s links, a media converter. In most cases the service would then connect to your firewall before connecting to your network. If you want to use BGP then you would need a proper router to handle the BGP traffic. The service is however designed to work with a router/firewall your end and we can provide advice on this.
Do I get IP addresses? Aren't they running out?
We will run out of IP version 4 addresses eventually but not yet, so you can have as many IPv4 addresses as you can justify following normal RIPE rules. IPv4 PI space has ran out, so is no longer available. However, we do also encourage and support IP version 6, providing native IPv6 connectivity with full 1500 byte MTU. IPv6 IP space is still available, either as PA (provider allocated) space or even as PI (provider independent) space.
Can I use this for VoIP?
Normally, yes, but there are caveats. We will prioritise non TCP traffic when shaping to your guaranteed rate so as to try and ensure good VoIP performance. If you use the burstable service there is also the possibility of packet dropping within the BT core. Whilst unlikely, this could affect VoIP. To ensure VoIP works perfectly you need to use the non burstable service, even if this is a separate Etherflow for VoIP traffic. Your end will need to do the same shaping to prioritise VoIP if not using a separate Etherflow for this traffic. Please do ask for advice.
You say burstable can slow down, how does that work?
Basically, for the burstable service, you can use up to 5 times your guaranteed bandwidth but we have only allowed for the guaranteed bandwidth in transit costs so we ensure the average usage does not go much over the guaranteed rate. To do that we set thresholds that mean you could use the full, 5 times, rate for something like an hour with no slow down and then over several hours see speeds drop to the guaranteed rate. In practice, normal office internet usage, using the maximum speed a lot of the time, will not reach the level for any slow down at all as the average will be below the guaranteed level. However, this protects us from a service costing more than we charge and avoids any excess charges. Customers can change to the higher usage level if they need to including no-burstable guaranteed services.
Is this the same as a leased line?
Basically, yes, we offer a dedicated link to the internet. Leased line is a somewhat older term, usually for a copper line, which you would use when buying a 64Kb/s or 2Mb/s internet link from an ISP or for site to site, but basically means the same thing.
Can I get dark fibre?
No. Dark fibre is a fibre connecting points together where you can, and have to, put your own equipment on the ends to light it. Unfortunately we have no services like this.