Broadband cable

If you’ve been looking at different business broadband options, you’ve probably seen leased lines mentioned a few times. But what are they and how are they different to your current broadband?

In this article we’re going to cover a few of the major differences between the two types of connection, focussing less on the technical details and more on the actual benefits that one connection may have over the other when it comes to providing high-speed, reliable business internet

1. Speed 

Leased lines offer much higher speeds than standard broadband connections. Speeds of up to 10Gbps (10,000 Mbps) are available on some leased lines, far superior to the FTTC connections which average between 50 and 100Mbps. 

2. Price 

Obviously, this increase in speed comes with an increase in price. Leased lines have a higher monthly cost than any other broadband connection. 

3. Improved Up/Down Ratio 

One of the aspects that makes leased lines ideal for business use is their improved up/down ratio. Whereas home users consume far more data than they upload, the same is not always true of businesses. Video calling, cloud services and data backup all require a healthy upload speed. 

4. Uncontested Lines 

Standard broadband is always “contested” meaning that you are sharing your line with other users with the same provider. This means that the internet connection can become slower or less reliable at busier times of day. Leased lines are “uncontested” meaning they are a direct connection from your premises to your ISP’s and are not shared by any other users. 

5. Improved SLAs 

The Service Level Agreements (SLAs) on leased lines are some of the most stringent and customer-friendly in the industry. The majority have uptime guarantees of at least 99.9%. Though these guarantees are offered by some business broadband packages they are unheard of on home broadband packages.

6. Reliable Fibre Connections 

A difference between leased lines and broadband is that the former tend to be completely fibre connections, while the latter tend to (at least partially) operate over copper wiring. Copper wiring is less reliable and more susceptible to the elements that a fibre connection. 

7. Contract Length 

Broadband contracts are often sold in 6- or 12-month blocks, or as a monthly rolling contract.  

Leased line contracts are almost always for 36 months but their improved speeds mean they are more “future proof” than a standard broadband connection. 

8. Proactive Monitoring 

Unlike commercial broadband, leased lines are monitored 24/7 for faults. This means that often, any connection problems have already been detected and fixed by your ISP before you would notice them. 

9. Truly Unlimited 

Many broadband packages which are sold as “unlimited broadband” are in fact subject to a “fair use” clause which allows your ISP to throttle the speed during busy times or after you have downloaded a certain amount during a month. 

All leased lines are true unlimited broadband with no throttling and no upload or download limits. 

10. Lead Time For Installation 

While broadband can often be installed within 2 weeks, leased lines can take anywhere up to 60 days. So, if you are considering a leased line, make sure you leave enough time to install it before you need it to be operational. 

11. True Connection Speeds 

Most commercial broadband packages are sold as “best effort” speeds. This means you rarely get the headline number that the ISP advertises. Your package might say it’s 100Mbps, but a speed test will often show that you are getting closer to 60-70Mbps even during less busy periods. 

Leased lines give you the true speed advertised.  

12. Traffic Prioritisation 

ISP’s of leased lines often let you customise the priority of your traffic. For example, a call centre may wish to have their VoIP calls take top priority whereas other businesses would prioritise their cloud services backups over their web traffic. 

13. Lower Latency 

Latency is greatly reduced when using a leased line. If you are frequently making a lot of VoIP calls or doing video conferencing this can make your experience much smoother. Financial industries also benefit from low latency as even milliseconds can make a big difference when trading. 

14. No Phone Line Attached 

ADSL and FTTC broadband connections are both delivered over the phone line. This means you are often paying for a phone line which you may or may not be using. Leased lines are not associated with phone lines in any way and are only used for data. If you want to be able to make phone calls over the leased line you would need to implement a cloud PBX service or use SIP trunks. At Carden Telecoms we supply phone lines, broadband, leased lines, cloud PBX services, and SIP trunks, so we can help you build the package best suited to your business.

So which one is right for my business? Leased line or broadband? 

The choice between the two options will come down to what you value most in your business. If you are focussed on speed and reliability, then leased lines will be the obvious choice. If you are more focussed on keeping costs low, then a standard business broadband connection will be more suitable. 

However, when prioritising costs, it’s important to factor speed and reliability into your costs as well. For example, if you regularly have periods of downtime with your current broadband, it is worth considering what the cost to your business is of that downtime (in terms of lost revenue). Similarly, if you find that your productivity is being held back by slow speeds and that this negatively influencing your profits, then how good of a deal is the cheaper broadband package in the long run? 

If you are still struggling to know which is the right choice, our team is here to help. Speak to one of our business telecoms experts today to learn about our range of business broadband and leased line packages. We can help to analyse your current setup and help you choose the most suitable upgrade to improve your productivity while keeping your costs under control. 

Author: Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden Telecoms and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave is experienced in business telecoms with a focus on cloud telephony and connectivity services.

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