IC are committed to quality and data security for all of our customers.
The only real business connection...
When it comes to connecting your office(s) to the Internet or each other Ethernet is the way to go. Ethernet has seen off all other major technologies as the medium of business network communications as it just keeps stretching, from 10Mb/s to 10Gb/s and now 40Gb/s & 100Gb/s it just keeps going.
Often referred to as 'Leased Lines' Ethernet connections through IC are designed to just work. Choose what you would like to know more about below;
Connecting to the Internet
"We moved our connection to IC and the Internet has never been faster"
Our big difference is that we are B2B only, we only buy the best transit and connections specifically for business and then we do not ever overload any of our connections to keep it fast for everyone. We also make sure we directly connect with all major providers and content networks directly via peering (connecting our networks together) to make your connections as fast and responsive as possible.
We are a B2B supplier and our network is designed for serious business, while others may quote 'zero contention' or 'guaranteed' they normally mean the underlying circuit or to the connection point and then the Internet access itself is just part of the global pool shared between business and domestic users alike. You can see this yourselves on the Internet peering and transit points.
The quote above is genuine and repeated many times from many customers, if we provide a 100Mb/s Ethernet we want you to be able to get it.
As with all our services you can have a basic 'here is a connection' or more tailored diverse routed / protected / dual and even direct to specific destinations.
Connecting Multiple Offices Together
This is where IC and our advanced MPLS network come into our own...
This is the core of our business and where we are growing fastest, we have all major technologies and providers to give choice in the connections and then we bring it all together into one seamless network in either Layer 2 or Layer 3.
We can centrally house Firewalls and / or Servers in our Data Centres or Virtual environments, connect to other data centres and your 3rd party suppliers or even private cloud hosting from the major players. Remote workers can be via secure SSL (encrypted connections) with multi-factor authentication.
IC can help and advise on design and implementation. We have Prince 2 qualified project management to co-ordinate the various components required and help get your network going, secure and scalable.
Different ways to get an Ethernet Connection
Ethernet Connection Options listed in best to last order;
Fibre Optic / Optical Fibre
from £200 per month typically
This is the first and most popular choice as it is symmetric and synchronous (same upload as download and transmits / receives at the same time) and has the highest service levels of all the connections. It's also scalable right through to the highest speeds as there is no theoretical maximum limit so as technology evolves so too can your connection.
It does cost to put it in although many times this can be built into the rental charges, lead times start at 30 working days but can be extensive if your site does not have the necessary infrastructure in place.
Dedicated Radio / Microwave
from £8K Install and £250 a month
Cannot get Fibre Optic to a site or the cost of bringing it in is looking to be excessive, then from some locations and depending upon topography a dedicated Radio / Microwave could be installed. Typically these are 100Mb/s but can be up to 1Gb/s in a few instances. These are designed as a mid way point with high service levels and are normally licenced links to help assure quality and avoid interference.
Beware the costs are usually considerably more than Fibre and the installation lead times vary considerably subject to the survey.
GEA / EoFTTC / EoFTTP
from £149 a month
For small remote locations with intermittent requirements or as an entry onto the Ethernet portfolio. This product set uses the normal Broadband delivery mechanisms like Fibre to the cabinet (copper wire for the last part of the connection) but instead of going into the highly contended and shared Broadband infrastructure, it is connected into the Ethernet core just like all services in this range.
The result is a connection that may have higher download than upload or be a symmetric connection of up to 20Mb/s that is geared to provide the full speed of the link to you when you need it. They also have elevated service levels and repair targets to keep you running.
Generally faster installation times but is only for smaller locations.
This was multiple copper wires bonded together to provide a symmetric connection up to an absolute maximum of 35Mb/s (typically 2-20Mb/s is what we saw) and this was the first entry level for Ethernet a few years back.
This has generally been superseded by GEA now.
This is not something 'you' need to have... We do it for you...
What is it?
MPLS - Multiprotocol Label Switching
In very simple terms it is a way to make a core network very fast, reliable and flexible.
It allows us to build lots of private and public networks over a common core all secure and separated from each other while providing quality of service, bandwidth and speed separation and assurance.
Why would this matter?
Flexibility and choice are substantially limited otherwise, in todays world you have to know that your supplier can react fast and deliver solutions you may need moving forwards. But moreover you should be placing your business on a network that has been designed from the ground up to do it, this is not something you can connect to or add... it is a fundamental core design choice that has to be fully embraced.
IC took this decision and have deployed it right up to the ports your connections come in to our network on (much further than most other major players) to give you the most extensive choice of options available.
Do I need it?
As stated at the top 'you' do not need it but you should connect to it. Here are just a couple of examples of why it matters to you;
- It's faster
A traditional network 'routes' the packets of data and this means it has to examine every packet and make decisions, we 'switch' the packets over the core so your data is shortcut around our core to get to its destination.
- It's more resilient
On a traditional network if a failure happens usually a dynamic routing protocol is used and the network has to re-route around the failure on any other available connections. This typically takes a few seconds to 3-5 minutes depending upon the part of the network, routing table size and actual protocols. Our network has pre-defined paths to each location on the network and pre-coded 2 active paths. In the event of link failing then the alternate path is switched to within 50ms which is barely noticeable to any application.
- It gives more choice and flexibility
We can create networks 'on the fly' so you connect to our nearest connection point and then we 'apply' the service you want to the port. If you want Internet we choose an Internet service location (e.g. London) and build you a link to that node, if you wanted resilience we could build you 2 links and add Manchester for you. If you want to link 2 or more offices together then we just build the appropriate network.
- Last Mile Connection Choice
Irrespective of technology and service provider we can bring all your connections together as a single entity that just works, no VPNs and other complex setups and it's all secure and private to you meeting any data separation standards.
In a world where things change quite so quickly your choice of connectivity provider should ensure they are capable of delivering changes. As an example the 'cloud' computing movement is increasing and you may need a server from Google, Amazon or Microsoft and a private link to the server. Whatever the future brings we are ready to help...
How to Buy / Next Actions...
At IC we have one of the widest choices in the market and can provide you with options and pricing from all major players in one go. With our MPLS core and aggregation services you have true choice with last mile tails or exchange / data centre interconnects from;
- IC (our LLU exchanges and POPs)
- BT Wholesale
- BT Openreach
- Contingency Networks
- Level 3 / CenturyLink
- SSE Enterprise Telecoms
- TalkTalk Business
- Virgin Business
- Vodafone Business
Our pricing & availability tool is available in the myIC portal for customers;
Example screenshot of our pricing tool which includes prices, terms, installation fees, likely lead times and network providers notes for work required.