Leased Lines for Faster Connections

A standard broadband connection is usually sufficient for most businesses and organisations. But for heavy users or those where continual, reliable internet access is vital, something more robust is needed, such as a leased line.

A leased line is a dedicated broadband connection for your premises. Costs for this have been prohibitive for most users until now but as more superfast cable gets rolled out and more customers sign up to it, costs have started to decrease noticeably. It is now starting to become a viable proposition for more organisations.

A broadband connection can be thought of like a pipe in that only a certain amount of material can go down it at any one time. The more things people try to put down it, the greater the likelihood of it becoming blocked or running slowly.

Most broadband providers share the pipes across multiple customers, perhaps on a 20:1 or 5:1 ratio. What this means is that 20 (or 5) different customers share the same connection. If everyone uses it at the same time then it will be slow. In effect, you have to wait your turn to use the pipe. 

Business contracts tend to be at the lower end of the number of users on one connection (perhaps 5:1) whereas domestic contracts are at the higher end, such as 20:1. This is why business contracts cost more than residential contracts. 

A leased line is not shared with anyone else. If you have multiple simultaneous users all trying to access an application over the internet at the same time, a leased line can ensure they get a more reliable service at faster speeds. But because it isn’t shared with anyone else, it means you pay a lot more for your connection. Where a typical business broadband connection might cost £30-£50 per month, a leased line might be more like £800 per month.

But over the last 12 months or so we have seen contracts originally costing nearly £800 dropping to under £500, and are likely to continue to fall further. Although still substantially more than a traditional broadband contract, it does start to open up possibilities for organisations that might benefit from it.

Some of the advantages and opportunities that a leased line can offer to organisations include:

  • Guaranteed access providing greater security of service and assurance of uptime
  • Fewer carriers involved in the process, leading to enhanced Service Level Agreements and a higher level of service
  • The ability to roll-out web-based applications to a greater number of users and still provide guaranteed uptime and service levels
  • Connecting multiple sites together for seamless networking across multi-site operations (using something known as a LES – LAN Extension Service).

So if you are looking at expanding your online operations or need greater levels of assurance and support in your operations, a leased line may be a possibility for you.

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