As broadband speeds increase, the price of leased lines has decreased – making them more accessible and affordable. A leased line is a permanent network connection between two points, typically being the local telephone exchange (also known as the PoP – the Internet Service Providers Point of Presence) and a company’s premises. They are an ‘uncontended service’, meaning that the connection is completely dedicated to you.
Whether or not your business chooses to opt for leased lines really does depend on three main factors:
Next look at the price. The cost of a leased line is usually calculated using the following factors:
Next look at the overall advantages of opting for a leased line in comparison to other broadband connections. Here are some examples:
Leased lines offer far higher speeds; they can be bought at speeds of 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1000Mbps or even 10,000Mbps. Other connectivity options such as ADSL simply can’t compete with that. For example, ADSL is advertised as being ‘Up to 8Mbps’. ADSL2+ is advertised as being ‘Up to 20′ or Up to 24Mbps’. The real speeds available to you drop dramatically the further you are from the exchange.
Rather than being an uncontended service, ADSL is usually a ‘contended service’. In other words, the bandwidth from your local exchange to your ISP is promised to 20+ customers. Unfortunately, at peak times when many customers are surfing the web, this lack of backhaul capacity causes your Internet connection to slow down. Leased lines, in contrast, are dedicated to you, and you alone.
Many people think they have a 4Mbps connection or a 6Mbps connection. However, that’s just the download speed. The upstream speed is usually much less, on average it’s just 800kbps. If all you’re doing is surfing the web, this doesn’t matter. However, if you want to use online backup, transfer files via FTP, or let staff connect to their work PCs from home using Remote-Desktop-Protocol then the upload speed is important. Leased lines are symmetric, so they offer a much faster upload speed.
Some broadband connections run over a standard copper phone line. After leaving your office, your phone line ends up in a bundle of other phone lines that are going to the same telephone exchange. Unfortunately, the transmissions in these other phone lines can induce currents in yours, causing transmission errors on your connection. Leased lines are more reliable as they use fibre-optic cable, which doesn’t suffer from this type of electrical interference. Secondly, they come with higher-grade more-expensive hardware, which is more reliable.
After deciding to go for leased lines you will need to choose your supplier and there are a few key points to consider whilst you shop around:
Leased lines can provide an unbeatable level of internet connectivity, although it may not always be necessary for your business. As is the same with any kind of IT or telecoms product, always ensure the solution is bespoke to your business. Any good telecommunications supplier should put your business and its needs first when recommending a broadband connection, but it’s always handy to know the basic facts.