EFM or Fibre Leased Lines – How do they compare and how do you choose between them?

EFM or Leased Lines? - MF Communications

Along with a robust and reliable connection, both EFM and fibre Leased Lines offer guaranteed bandwidth with high availability.

EFM, or Ethernet in the first mile, is made more affordable by combining new technology with traditional copper lines for the first mile. This means installation is quicker than with a typical Leased Line and costs are lower, whilst still offering a higher resilience and quality over standard broadband options.

However, dedicated fibre Leased Lines offer the best solution for business where broadband is essential, connectivity is critical and high capacity demands bandwidth and the utmost reliability.

What are Leased Lines?

Leased Lines connect two ports via dedicated fibre optic cables, without the need for a telephone number. They provide a simple, reliable and secure solution for internet VPN, private networks or for connecting two geographically separate areas. Used as a direct connection to the internet, Leased Lines will act as a dedicated connection with no shared bandwidth.

Comparing EFM with fibre Leased Lines.


EFM offers faster speed and better bandwidth than standard broadband and a dedicated internet connection with guaranteed upload and download speeds.

Dedicated fibre Leased Lines offer the best solution for business where broadband is essential and connectivity is critical. Speed availability ranges from 2Mbps up to 10Gbps.


Cost depends on your location, however, EFM is generally more cost effective. This is due to EFM using copper pairs to connect to the local exchange, whereas Leased Lines utilise fibre. EFM avoids the large excess charges associated with traditional fibre, allowing you to reduce costs, whilst boosting your connectivity.

With fibre Leased Lines, you get cost savings from integrating your communications onto one platform and using technologies such as VoIP. You can also benefit from cheaper business calls by using VoIP service telephony.


The installation process for EFM is much simpler than that of Leased Lines, with lead times generally being a lot quicker: fibre Leased Lines can take around 90 working days to be installed, whereas EFM Leased Lines, provisioned over copper, are usually provided in around 30 working days.

Geographic availability

EFM is available for businesses located in both towns and rural settings, however, electrical signals degrade as the distance the electrical wires span increases. This means the further you are from your local telephone exchange, the more difficult you may find it to get the same high connection speed that would be available to businesses located closer.

You can get a fibre Leased Line pretty much anywhere in the UK – with the exception of some very rural areas.


EFM is very resilient due to its copper infrastructure. If you lose connectivity on one copper pair, the others remain live, retaining 75% of the bandwidth.

Leased Lines are the highest grade of data connectivity currently available in the UK. Run over fibre-optic technology, the most sophisticated method for transferring data, fibre optics use light pulses to transport data down fibre lines. This costs much less to maintain than traditional copper lines.

With fibre Leased Lines, you get a dedicated line that only carries communications and traffic from your company, resulting in a guaranteed level of service. You can use this line for data, video and voice and it is most effective when sharing bandwidth-hungry applications between different offices.

A business broadband solution from MF Communications.

Whether you need EFM or a fibre Leased Line depends on your business requirements. If you’re looking for a cost-effective dedicated connection with a quick installation, but do not require the highest grade of speed, then you should consider EFM. Whilst both offer scalability, the speeds you can achieve in both directions with fibre Leased Lines are much higher than anything else currently on offer in the UK. Dedicated Leased Lines offer the best solution for business where broadband is essential, connectivity is critical and high capacity demands bandwidth with the utmost reliability.

To discuss in more detail the differences between Leased Lines and EFM, and the benefits of each for your business, call our broadband experts on 01892 514687. They can help you choose the most cost-effective route for your business broadband requirements.