What Are Leased Lines?
Leased lines are dedicated physical broadband connections that can be leased from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or a company, such as Prestige Telecom Group, to a business that uses vast amounts of bandwidth and internet to such a degree that using their own makes sense.
Once installed, a leased line provides a business with exclusive access to the internet, they are no longer sharing bandwidth with other users in their building or in the surrounding area – all this means that the internet they receive is exceedingly fast, and there’s only. On a scientific level, the light that travels, at light-speed, down the fibre optic cable is used exclusively for a single business, it isn’t shared meaning it isn’t slowed down or hampered by having to spread across other networks.
Leased lines are defined as being symmetrical, uncontested, and travelling between two points. The symmetry refers to the upload and download speed being the same, with shared lines, on traditional networks, there is often a preference for high download speeds, at the behest of slower upload speeds.
With leased lines, however, both are the same making uploading files as quick as downloading them. Being uncontested is a characteristic that’s fairly self-explanatory. Because these lines are only supplying the internet to one place, they aren’t contending with other networks or being shared by users. Finally, travelling between two points (often referred to as ‘point to point’) refers to the fact that leased lines connect one business with one ISP (Internet Service Provider), and that’s it. The point to point nature of the leased line means you won’t be impacted by multiple users accessing the shared network. Multiple-use can, at peak times especially, have detrimental effects for businesses that need to host large VoIP conferences, download complex files, or handle sensitive customer information.
The Equipment Needed For This Service
To start benefiting quickly from the exclusivity of leased lines you’ll need to be in an area where the physical fibre-optic cables are available to be plugged into your network. For those that live in a busy inner-city area or suburb, getting leased lines installed shouldn’t take very long at all.
In contrast, if you’re a small business that is situated in a rural area, having your own dedicated network installed may cost a lot more money than it is worth, in the short to medium term at least.
Other pieces of equipment such as routers, modems, and devices that can be connected to the internet are also clearly required in order to benefit from leased lines.
What Are The Different Types Of Leased Line?
There are several different options available when it comes to finding the right leased lines for your business needs and your budget. The most popular types of leased lines are site-to-network-connectivity and site-to-site data connectivity.
Regarding the latter, this can also be known as a point-to-point leased line. This high-speed connection occurs between two points which, in most cases, are two business sites that belong to the same company. For instance, if you have an office in Leeds, and one in London, you could connect them with this type of leased line to increase transfer reliability and improve data transfer. With a point-to-point leased line, these premises would share the same information, just as two computers sharing the same network would.
A site-to-network leased line works by connecting a business to a network with an uncontended line. That means all users on the network will experience guaranteed speeds, as specified by the business. This is an increasingly popular option for businesses here in the UK, as they help to facilitate modern working. Because greater upload speeds are a common feature of site-to-network leased lines, this means that companies can really reap the benefits of VoIP for both their collaboration and communication needs. Furthermore, these speeds help to facilitate cloud computing, which is also an increasingly popular resource for businesses that want to enhance their security and improve their data transfer.
Regarding the specific types of leased lines, they tend to fall into the following categories:
A full-fibre internet connection is often considered the best option due to its speed and reliability. This type of ethernet connection uses fibre optic cables from the premises of the business to the internet service provider (ISP). These cables then deliver superfast speeds. Whilst full-fibre is one of the best-leased line options, it is, therefore, one of the most expensive.
Ethernet Broadband (or Ethernet in the First Mile)
This solution is ideal for businesses that lack a local fibre cabinet, as this service utilises traditional copper networks to deliver the connection to the business. Then, a full-fibre ethernet connection is in place from the exchange. For a reliable service, this broadband – often referred to as ‘Ethernet in the First Mile’ – uses aggregated copper pairs. This essentially means that if one set of copper was to fail, the other would then take over, providing a resilient and reliable service. Whilst the speeds can’t compete with a fibre option, the service may be more suited to those looking for a cost-effective solution. The service usually comes with guarantees and service level agreements too, for peace of mind that the service will meet your business demands.
Ethernet Over FTTC
This option is often considered to bridge the gap between leased lines and broadband. Ethernet over FTTC is similar to Ethernet in the First Mile but can be cheaper, and is also a solution for businesses that do have access to local fibre cabinets – it’s a great hybrid solution for the high speeds that your business needs. This service uses both fibre and copper – the final part of the connection from the cabinet uses aggregated copper pairs, as used in Ethernet Broadband. Once installed, you won’t have to share the connection with anyone else.
If you’re unsure about which option is best for you, your business needs and your budget, then the team here at Prestige Telecoms are happy to discuss your options and help you make an informed decision about the right choice for your business. To discuss the range of leased line options, get in touch with our team by calling 03303 200 222, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advantages & Possible Disadvantages To Consider
When deciding whether to opt for a leased line or an alternative method, it’s important to consider your business needs and your budget, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of leased lines. Being well informed about what to expect from this method of connectivity will help you to make the right choice regarding which service to choose.
The Advantages Of Leased Lines
You’ll get a dedicated internet connection
This is one of the main benefits of a leased line – you have an exclusive internet connection that will not be shared with any other business or person nearby. When your connection is shared, you might notice that your internet runs at a slower speed at the busiest times of the day, when it has the most users. However, with a leased line, this isn’t an issue – you’re guaranteed to have a fixed bandwidth without the fluctuation.
A leased line is highly reliable
For most businesses nowadays, the internet is a crucial part of the way that they operate, or even their service offerings or products. Because it’s key to the functionality of the business, the internet needs to be reliable. Yet for many businesses with DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) broadband, the connection and the speed that they have to work with simply doesn’t cut it.
Leased lines offer an effective solution, providing a reliable internet connection that is uncontended and therefore highly reliable. You won’t have to worry about the Fair Usage Policy, as you can use as much data as you like for the price that’s agreed between your business and your provider. With a reliable connection 24/7, you can have full confidence that you’ll meet your next deadline and can communicate with your team effectively, whenever you need to.
Support and Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
When you opt for a leased line, you’ll usually have access to great support, if you ever encounter any issues. This is certainly the case with Prestige Telecoms – when you use our services to get a leased line for your business, we’ll be on hand to offer our expertise and support whenever you need it.
With a broadband connection, your internet could go down for days. When so many people are sharing this connection and, therefore, experience the same issue, it’s hard to get that dedicated and tailored support that you want. This can have a big impact on your business and can result in it grinding to a complete halt.
However, with a leased line, you’ll get a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that sets out what to expect if you ever encounter any issues – it usually specifies that connectivity issues will be resolved promptly, and it may also set out details for levels of compensation. Your provider will be monitoring their connections at all times and can be on hand to help if there’s an issue with the line.
A leased line can provide great security
A leased line is dedicated internet access (DIA) meaning that it’s dedicated to the two locations it connects, and nothing more. As such, when combined with effective firewall and router settings, a leased line can provide greater security than other options – there are fewer security risks as it isn’t a shared service. When you choose to work with us, we can ensure that your leased line provides an excellent level of security to minimise the risks to your business.
Better download and upload speeds
Unlike a DSL, a leased line allows you to control how the bandwidth gets distributed on the line because you’re the only business/location to use it. As such, larger files receive the right bandwidth that they need, in order to travel to and from each location efficiently and effectively. If you have a business that relies on downloading large amounts of data or uploading it to the cloud, then this can be a fantastic advantage. Similarly, if you use VoIP telephony or run your own servers, then these increased upload and download speeds are a great benefit.
The Possible Disadvantages Of Leased Lines
Whilst the advantages of having a business leased line are plentiful, leased lines aren’t the right solution for every business. As with every method of connectivity, leased lines do come with possible disadvantages, based on your business needs and your budget. It’s therefore important to be aware of these possible disadvantages so that you can decide whether or not a leased line is a worthwhile investment.
Leased lines are one of the most expensive options available
There are so many benefits to using a leased line, but this comes at a cost when compared to other available options. Price will range depending on numerous factors, including the amount of data your business requires, but there are certainly more affordable options. If your business is new or you own a small enterprise, you may wish to consider other options if you have a tight budget.
You’ll require a site survey
Prior to having your leased line installed, you’ll need a site survey – this assesses whether it’s possible to install a leased line and if any additional work is required in order for a leased line to work. In areas with the necessary infrastructure in place, site surveys don’t usually uncover any issues. However, if your business is located in a rural area with no fibre installed, then it’s likely that you’ll need extra work to be carried out before the installation takes place.
The set-up and installation can take a while
Because of the need for a site survey, the installation process of a leased line can take a while, especially if the site survey uncovers work that must be carried out. The site survey itself can take a few weeks, and then the construction work that’s needed prior to the installation can vary in terms of time – it depends on the work that needs to be done. And, of course, this additional work comes at a price and can be rather expensive. It’s important to consider these additional costs if you are considering a leased line.
Do I Need A Dedicated Connection?
Overall, having your very own symmetrical connection is a good thing that is packed with features. But, is it something you need? Well, like a lot of things to do with business telecoms, it depends on your situation. Firstly, let’s look at why you do need one for your business premise. If you’re a company that uses bandwidth-hungry business applications such as Microsoft Azure then this bandwidth option will be good for you. Why? Well, once installed, you’ll never have to experience the frustrating dips in network performance that people who share broadband do. This means you can use these applications during a typically busy time, without drawback.
Similarly, you would benefit from one if you’re an organisation that works in finance, banking, or you regularly handle highly sensitive customer data and financial information. A super-reliable connection such as this can give you an additional layer of security, and protect you from hackers. Promoting this level of security to customers can also give them assurances, and improve the quality of service that you’re known for. As you’ll see below, other sectors such as hotels, schools, and farms are also three areas that benefit from an unlimited service. The reasons they prefer this over a standard broadband service range from rural proximity, and the desire to give students a resilient service, to being able to offer customers and residents a super-fast fibre connection.
The reasons why you may not need an alternative service such as this is if you’re a small or medium-sized business that is either just starting or has just become established. Very often, a standard internet connection will work just fine. Similarly, if you work from home (something we’ve all become very familiar with in the last year or so), you should be able to get by with a stable connection from an ISP (Internet Service Provider). To get the most out of this bandwidth option, and enjoy the benefits of having your own network coverage, you really need to be a business or organisation of a certain size to justify the cost and the installation required.
Some Things You Should Know About A Dedicated Leased Line Before Purchasing
Get to know the resilience and availability of the private network
Broadly, whether it’s with Prestige Telecom or not, dedicated internet access is extremely reliable. This is mainly because you’re using fibre ethernet cables, as opposed to a basic connection that doesn’t run on a fibre optic service and uses copper instead. Copper is fine, but it is extremely susceptible to faults such as water ingress which can bring your network performance to a standstill. If fibre ethernet was to break for some reason it is usually given priority and thus the response times are much quicker.
Think of the installation as a project
Once an alternative connectivity service has been agreed upon, the next phase, before you enjoy a dedicated connection speed, is the installation period. This period may take various amounts of time depending on the availability rating and your business premise but it is important to know that it will take some time, whatever your situation. Appointments will need to be booked, engineers will need to undergo site visits and other things will need to be put in place before you start to benefit from dedicated network coverage.
What is the backup service like?
Should the worst happen and you suffer an unexpected outage, you need to know what type of backup service is available. Will you have to manually plug into a backup network for a while, or will there be a backup option in place that is automatic? In an ideal world, you should expect to have an equipment option, in the form of a box, that can be immediately switched to supplement your dedicated leased line.
Discover the level of customer care support for peace of mind
Whether you decide to work with us here at Prestige Telecom or not, it’s vital you discover the level of tech support, and the range of options you’ll have, once you find a dedicated leased line provider. Find out the hours that the support team is available. How will they help installation? What are they going to do after you have installed your dedicated internet access to make your life easier? All this information will help you make the right decision.
What Is The Advantage Of High-Speed Internet Connection For My Enterprise?
It may be apparent what the benefits of a private leased line are to your organisation. In a word, it’s speed. Having an uncontended line to fibre optic broadband is like having the motorway all to yourself. You’re not having to contest with traffic or other road users looking to use their share of the road. All you have in front of you is miles and miles of tarmac.
Away from the motorway metaphors, another benefit of an advanced network such as this is the lack of latency that comes with them. Most business broadband deals are sold on the premise of bandwidth, of which there is usually a limit. However, because you have dedicated internet access, you’re not sharing that bandwidth with anyone and, as a result, the latency is low. This is vital if you’re a business that has a sales team that regularly uses VoIP, is in financial trading, or handles sensitive client data such as medical records or bank details.
This lack of latency leads us to the third advantage – continuous connection speed. You’re no longer having to share what is advertised as ‘exceptional speed’ with other users, which can lead to dips in the overall maximum speed. All the bandwidth is dedicated to your team, and your team only. This means that as well as reliable connectivity, you’re getting truly ultrafast broadband that isn’t affected by usage.
Which Bandwidth Option Is Right For My Team?
The levels of bandwidth offered by our team here at Prestige Telecom vary greatly, and what is right for you is based on several factors that are unique to your company. Some factors that you can start to think of now, which will impact what dedicated leased line package you choose, are things such as future growth. As a business, how much growth do you expect to undergo in three, six, or nine months? Knowing this will ensure that your high-powered broadband needs are met in the long term, whether that means you opt for leased lines or not.
Another thing to think of is the number of remote workers you will, or won’t, have. The last 12 to 18 months have shown businesses and employees that remote working is a genuine alternative to the regular 9-5 office routine. So, consider this when factoring in the need for leased lines. Are you expecting to have 50-100 people in your office every single day? Or will things be quieter on some days, and busier on others? If so, will the faster speed offered by private leased lines materially benefit your business? If the answer’s yes, then contact our customer care team to learn about the benefits for businesses.
How Are Broadband And Leased Line Different? Is Broadband Or A Leased Line Better?
Leased lines and broadband can both offer a high-speed connection but, overall, leased lines are considered the most reliable and effective option. Whilst this is true, it can come at an expensive cost, which is why it’s important to consider all of your options, especially if you’re a small business. Ultimately, your decision is likely to come down to the applications you use and what you need the connection for, as well as the size of your network. Broadband can still offer a high-speed connection to help you operate as a business, but there are some key differences between leased lines and broadband, as we’re about to discuss.
Firstly, it’s important to note that there are different types of broadband, just as there are different types of leased lines. Broadband has evolved significantly over the years – it used to be called narrowband, as you had to disconnect your phone line before using it. Nowadays, broadband is pretty much everywhere, and it’s always on. The most common types of broadband are fibre-optic, ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), and mobile. Fibre-optic uses fibre-optic cables to connect businesses to the internet, whereas ADSL uses the traditional copper telephone lines. With mobile broadband, digital signals are used to transmit connectivity from satellites straight to you.
The key difference between broadband and leased lines is that broadband is contended and leased lines are not, hence why the latter is usually the preferred option. This means that when you’re using your broadband connection, other people will be using it too. This can then affect the speeds that you get, which is why you might notice your internet speed drop during peak times. However, as noted earlier, a leased line gives you an exclusive connection that remains inaccessible to those outside your business or location.
As discussed earlier, the speeds on leased lines are symmetrical, meaning that download and upload speeds are the same. Yet on traditional networks – such as broadband – download speeds are often faster, due to the asymmetric speed. Another key difference besides speed is the quality of audio and video communications. With the use of leased lines, telecommunications are likely to work in real-time, yet broadband users are more likely to experience dropouts due to speed and contention.
For many businesses, scalability is an important factor – they want to know that whatever solution they select can be scaled to suit their business needs in the future. Many leased lines are scalable – it’s relatively easy to invest in more uncontended bandwidth if your business needs it. Alternatively, you can decrease the amount of bandwidth you get if you find that you need less than originally agreed. As for broadband, if scalability is an important factor, then you need to look for flexible bandwidth options from providers that offer packages that can be altered. Many providers will offer fixed packages, so you should make sure you look into flexible deals before deciding on one.
When it comes to deciding whether leased lines or broadband is the better option for your business, it all comes down to your business needs and how much you’re willing to spend. If your priority is speed, security, and contention, then choosing a leased line is the best option, providing that you can afford the cost. However, that isn’t to say that broadband shouldn’t be considered. For most businesses, an internet connection provided by a reliable internet service provider can work perfectly fine, allowing their business to operate to its full potential. Broadband can certainly be a great option for many small businesses that cannot afford to invest in a leased line.
Whether you’re interested in a leased line or broadband for your business, the team here at Prestige Telecoms can help you to find the ideal solution. Better still, we can take care of the entire process for you. To get started on equipping your business with an effective internet connection, get in touch with us by calling 03303 200 222, or by sending an email to email@example.com.