What is a Leased Line? An Expert Explains…

A leased line is a dedicated, fixed-bandwidth, symmetric data connection.  I'll explain what that means in a minute.

What is a leased line used for? It is used to link two locations together.

The first location is typically a corporate office. The second location is typically another corporate office, a data centre that’s connected to the Internet or a data centre that’s connected to the company’s existing Wide Area Network.

What is a Leased Line Used For?

Businesses use leased lines to...

  • connect to the Internet
  • link PCs and servers in different corporate offices
  • carry phone calls
  • enable staff to connect to their work PCs from home
Office staff depend on leased lines.

What is a leased line for? Carrying data and phone calls, typically from business premises such as this one.

Leased Lines are Dedicated

By definition, leased lines are 'dedicated'. This means that all along the route of your leased line, the bandwidth you need has been reserved solely for your use.

Unlike consumer Internet connections, the bandwidth available does not fall at peak times, when other customers of the same ISP try to use their connections at the same time as you.

Leased Lines are Symmetric

This means they can upload data at the same fast speed at which they can can download data. This can be useful if staff need to…

  • access their work PC’s desktops from home
  • send large files
  • upload sizable files to your web sites
  • backup data using online services
  • host web sites on a server at your office
  • use VoIP telephony

Leased Line ≠ Internet Connection (unless you want it to)

It’s common for companies to buy Internet access at the same time they buy a leased line. However a leased line is NOT the same thing as an Internet connection.

Just as a pipe could be used to carry a number of different things (e.g.water, gas, sewage), so a leased line can be used to carry a number of different types of data traffic (Internet traffic, phone calls, corporate VPN traffic).  There’s no requirement to buy Internet access on a leased line.

If you DO get Internet access, there’s no requirement that you get enough to fill the leased line. For example, you might choose to get 15Mbit/s of Internet access on a 20Mbit/s leased line, which in turn could be provisioned over a 100Mbit/s circuit.  You could use 5Mbit/s for WAN traffic and VoIP calls, and there would be 80Mbit/s spare for future usage.

What is a Leased Line Likely to Deliver, Speed-wise?

2Mbps, 10Mbps and 100Mbps are the most popular connection speeds, though connections of 10,000 Mbit/s (10 Gigabits per second) are possible if money is no object.

What is a leased line likely to cost you? As a rough rule of thumb, 10Mbps connections cost twice as much as 2Mbps connections. And 100Mbps connections cost twice as much as 10Mbps connections.

Advantages of a Dedicated Connection (compared to ADSL)

  • Faster download speeds are usually available
  • Faster upload speeds
  • Connections that don’t slow down at peak times
  • Greater reliability
  • Better support

Disadvantages of a Dedicated Connection (compared to ADSL)

  • Cost – Leased line costs have fallen, but leased lines are still a LOT more expensive than ADSL connections.
  • Longer Wait – Leased lines may take about three months to install rather than two weeks.
  • Physical Installation – Installing leased lines is also more complex than installing ADSL, as ADSL can be provided over a pre-existing circuit (your phone line). A leased line will require a new circuit, and is likely to require some construction work to connect your building to the leased line provider’s network.

What Is A Leased Line Likely To Cost Me?

This depends on i) the speed of connection you want ii) your location and iii) the length of the contract you’re willing to sign. Because of this it often takes leased line providers days to provide you with a quote. However there are a few providers that can give you a price far more quickly.

If you're after a quick quote, use our leased line pricing site. It compares wholesale quotes from a number of providers in real-time, then calculates a retail price based on the lowest wholesale quote. Once you fill in your details, you'll be given a unique quote number. Call on 020 7847 4510 and we'll tell you the pricing that applies in your area. Get a quote now.

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