Leased Line Broadband

21 Differences Between Broadband and Leased Line Connections

One question we're often asked is "What is the difference between broadband and leased line connections?" If you're seeking the classic 'computer networking exam' answer, see our other article: the difference between leased line and broadband.

But if you're after a 'real world' answer that doesn't just focus on technical differences but also commercial and practical ones, you've come to the right place. Below, we compare leased line vs broadband connections.

The Difference Between Leased Line and Broadband Internet Connections

Many people ask us what the difference is between broadband and a leased line connections. Here are 9 of the key differences, to help you compare these options:

EoFTTC vs Leased Line - The Key Differences Explained

Looking to make a comparison of EoFTTC vs Leased Line circuits? Here are the key differences.

Leased Lines offer higher maximum speeds than EoFTTC

EoFTTC (Ethernet over Fibre To The Cabinet) offers guaranteed speeds up 'up to 20mbps' upstream and downstream, with 'best efforts' attempts to top up the downstream speed with up to 60Mbps more.

Leased Lines, in contrast could offer 'up to 10,000Mbps' in most areas of the UK, upstream and downstream, if you had the budget.

Leased Line Broadband Doesn’t Exist – Comparing Leased Lines v Broadband

'Leased line broadband' is an oxymoron. Leased lines are dedicated. Broadband is not. It's contended. Leased lines speeds are symmetric. Broadband speeds are asymmetric. Leased lines are more reliable than Broadband and comes with far better SLAs. But all these benefits do come at a cost: a higher monthly charge.

ADSL Leased Lines – Are They Even Possible? We Investigate…

The A in ADSL stands for Asymmetric. Leased lines are symmetric. So are ‘ADSL Leased lines’ possible? The answer is yes.

There’s a variant of ADSL called ADSL2+Annex M which offershigher upload speeds than standard ADSL and standard ADSL2+.

It’s theoretically possible to create a leased line by using this asymmetric connection, using rate-shaping to artificially lower the download speed to match the connection’s upload speed.

Lease Line Backup – How To Stay Connected When Your Leased Line Goes Down

There are a number of leased line backup options to choose from.

Contended ADSL

The most popular choice for a backup connection. If your leased line goes down, you'll still be able to access the Internet. Your upstream speed will probably be reduced, as will the quality of your connection.

It's not ideal, but frankly it's cheap. And hopefully you won't have to put up with it for long, as most leased line faults are fixed within hours, not days.

Another Leased Line from a different carrier

Leased Line Alternatives – Cheaper Alternatives To Leased Lines

There are a number of leased line alternatives:

Contended SDSL

You're probably familiar with ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). Well, there's a symmetric version of it called SDSL.

It's only available in a fraction of the UK. For example BT Wholesale offer SDSL connections to ISPs, but only to premises served by 600 of the 5600 UK telephone exchanges.

Leased Line Comparison – How SDSL, ADSL, ADSL2+ and Fixed Wimax Connections Compare To Leased Lines

Here's how leased lines compare to other options:


Cable leased lines are available at higher speeds. They're also available in a wider area. Only 600 of the 5600 UK telephone exchanges have been SDSL-enabled by BT's Wholesale Division.

It's worth noting that SDSL comes in two flavours: contended and uncontended. Contended connections share bandwidth with other customers at the exchange. This means that the connection can slow down when other customers are using it. On the upside, contended SDSL is cheaper than a dedicated solution.

Types of Leased Lines – Your Options Explained

There are several types of leased lines.

Fibre Leased Lines

Fibre Leased Lines provide a dedicated symmetric data connection by sending light over fibre optic cables. In reality, almost all leased lines use fibre for a major portion of route, particular the 'backhaul' element. However some leased lines use fibre all the way.

If you've got a choice between Fibre and DSL, choose Fibre.

Of all the types of leased line, Fibre leased lines offer the higest speeds.

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