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.

Standard ADSL

Leased lines have the same upstream speed as their download speed. ADSL has a fast download speed, but it usually has a very slow upstream speed e.g. 256kbps or 400kbps.

Most leased lines are unmetered, so you can download or upload without worrying about going over your usage limit. ADSL is usually metered. If you download or upload more than a certain number of gigabytes, you may be liable for additional charges, or your connection may be slowed down as a punishment for using more than your fair share of your ISP's resources.


This replaces the incredibly slow ADSL upload speed with something zippier. It also boosts the download speed. The extent of that increase depends on how close you are to your local exchange.

ADSL2+ tends to be contended, so like ADSL your connection will probably slow down at peak times.

ADSL2+ services are often metered, so once again, you can't use your connection as much as you would a leased line, without incurring charges or speed reductions.

Fixed Wimax

Fixed wimax is only available in a few locations. Leased lines, in comparison, are widely available. Fixed wimax can be affected by the weather, and requires a direct line of sight to your exchange. It usually requires that something be put on the roof, or the side of your building, whereas leased lines do not.

Fixed wimax does have one important benefit over leased lines though: far faster installation times.

For more leased line comparisons, see our most recent article, comparing leased lines to FFTP, G.Fast and other options.