Leased Line Alternatives – Cheaper Alternatives To Leased Lines
There are a number of leased line alternatives:
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.
The speeds you can get are highly dependent on how far you are from your local telephone exchange. Near to the exchange you can get a 2Mbit/s connection. As you get further away, you can only get 1Mbit/s or less.
Contended ADSL2+ Annex M
ADSL2+Annex M is an enhanced version of ADSL. Unlike standard ADSL, which offers pitifully slow speeds upstream, ADSL2+ Annex M offers upstream speeds of up to 3.5Mbit/s, if you're very close to your local telephone exchange.
Most businesses won't be close enough to get that speed, and may get 2Mbit/s or 1Mbit/s upstream instead.
Uncontended ADSL offers a dedicated asymmetric data connection. In other words, it's fast downstream and slow upstream. If your connection will mostly be used for downloading rather than sending information, you may be able to get away with using a dedicated ADSL connection.
Although uncontended ADSL connections are usually cheaper than a leased line, they're not that much cheaper.
One way to get round ADSL's lamentable upload speed is to get a bunch of ADSL connections and bond them together. This isn't as reliable as a traditional leased line. However it does have the benefit of being faster and cheaper.
That said, we've heard some real horror stories from people who tried to run business-critical VoIP services over bonded ADSL circuits.
Leased Lines Might Not Be As Expensive As You'd Imagine
They've come down in price. You can find out how much one would cost using our free Leased Line price checker.