• What is a Leased Line?

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A leased line is a high-speed private internet connection that offers uncontested data exchange services on a 1:1 contention ratio via a dedicated fiber optic cable. This means that, in exchange for fixed subscription fee, service users do not share circuit capacity with any other users, resulting in faster upload/download speeds.

Benefits of a Leased Line

  • A leased line - or private internet connection - provides businesses with several major benefits in comparison to alternative methods of securing a business internet connection (outlined below). In general, the greater the company’s dependence on conducting business interactions online, the greater the benefits of securing a dedicated and uninterrupted internet connection.
  • 24/7 customer support - The leased line service provider will typically provide same day 24/7 customer support. This type of instant support aims to lower packet loss and minimise downtime, meaning companies that rely on heavy data usage can expect premium levels of internet access.
  • No download/upload caps - A data cap is a policy imposed by the service provider in order to ensure that the demands of the customer base do not exceed the ability of the supplier to deliver all agreed services to all clients. A leased line is not subject to data caps.  
  • Uncontended dedicated bandwidth - Typical broadband alternatives offer a contended service, where a 50 user per service at the exchange level, for example, would result in a contention ratio of 50:1 (creating potential issues over guaranteed load speeds). Leased lines offer a 1:1 contention ratio.

Upgrade to a higher speed at any time - The leased line provider will offer advice and guidance over the level of service that a service user is likely to require in order to meet the demands of the company’s average daily data exchange. The service user may upgrade to faster speeds at any time.

Symmetrical speeds (upload/download)- The client will agree a level of service (e.g. 10 Mbps) with the service provider based on likely daily data exchange requirements. Unlike the fluctuating service from broadband competitors, leased lines offer consistent download/upload speeds that remain set. 

In addition to the appeal of guaranteed increased transfer speeds, leased lines offer a cost-effective data exchange solution in terms of installation and ongoing maintenance. This is because the leased line provider will typically supply all installation and maintenance services as part of the agreement, resulting in reduced staffing costs for the service user.  

Difference Between a Leased Line and DSL

A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connection is a high-speed internet connection favoured by many businesses looking to secure a reliable level of service regarding internet connectivity. DSL connections are made via regular telephony wiring, which may be shared by multiple service users within the area - this can result in slower upload/download speeds during peak business operating hours.

In contrast, a leased line guarantees premium data exchange rates at all times. This is achieved through the use of a private and uncontended connection. Typically, the leased line connection is made over fiber - provisions for this type of connection will be made by the leased line service provider where no existing fiber connection is available.

Bandwidth - Internet Speed Options

The leased line service provider will ask all relevant questions of any potential client in order to ascertain the optimal level of service (in terms of bandwidth) relevant to the client’s individual needs. Outlined below are the typical bandwidth suggestions in relation to business size vs. likely demands for online data exchange (these figures are for use as a guide only).

  • Small to Medium Size Business - A small to medium sized business is likely to require a circuit capacity of 10Mbps - 30Mbps, increasing to around 100Mbps with business growth.
  • Medium to Large Scale Business- A medium to large scale business will typically require a starting circuit capacity of around 100Mbps, increasing to 1Gbps - 10Gbps with business growth. 

The level of service will be agreed between the service provider and the service user in a contract known as a Service Level Agreement. Although contractually binding, the service provider will allow for upgrades to a greater level of circuit capacity in response to demand from the service user. 

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