The Top UK Leased Line Providers Revealed

We work with many of the top UK leased line providers to get our clients the best available pricing.

We've gone so far as to create a leased line pricing tool that provides us with the ability to generate a site-specific quote for pretty much any UK location. We have worked with the largest UK leased line providers to integrate their pricing tools into our site.

Here are some of the UK leased line providers that we can order circuits from, if they are the best option for you:


British Telecom used to be the sole supplier of leased lines in the UK.  It's still the largest. But beginning in 2001, BT was forced to sell leased lines at wholesale prices to other operators. BT's UK operations have been disaggregated into operationally independent divisions BT Openreach (infrastructure), BT Wholesale (services for ISPs) and BT Retail (the bit that does all the advertising). You can get a BT circuit without needing to buy it from BT's retail arm. BT Openreach has the largest network of any of the UK leased Line Providers.

Virgin Media

Created out of a patchwork of UK cable franchises, Virgin Media operates one of the country's two main fibre networks.  It was formerly called NTL:Telewest, and was rebranded following a merger with Virgin Mobile.


City of London Telecommunications started out providing leased lines to Britain's financial district. It expanded its coverage to cover Docklands, central Birmingham and Central Manchester. Outside of these areas, it tends not to compete for the bread & butter leased lines that most companies use. Instead it focuses on linking European cities (including major UK towns), and providing services to large organisations (multinationals, public sector etc).  At the time of writing, COLT is in around 19,800 buildings in 192 european cities, spread across 22 countries. Unless you're in The City, Docklands, or the centres of Birmingham or Manchester, it's unlikely that their network is in your building.


This major International carrier bought MCI/Worldcom, which owned UUNet.

Global Crossing

A International tier 1 carrier, bought by Level 3 Communications.


Cable & Wireless was the very first UK leased line provider to offer an alternative to BT. It bought a number of corporate leased line providers including Thus and Energis, as well as the core network of Local Loop Unbundler Bulldog. Cable & Wireless then split into two. The UK arm was acquired by Vodafone. It needed thousands of leased lines to provide bandwidth to its mobile phone masts.

Leased lines can transmit lots of data using fast, dedicated, symmetric connections

Industry consolidation has reduced the number of UK leased line providers that have their own physical networks

SSE Telecoms

Formerly known as Neos Networks, SSE Telecoms is the telecommunications business of Scottish and Southern Energy. It had the ingenious idea of stringing fibre from SSE's electricity pylons.  This provides a cheap way to link cities together, without having to pay a fortune to run fibre alongside railway lines, motorways and canals.

It may have gotten the idea from Energis, a UK leased line provider that was set up by National Grid Plc, to take advantage of the network of pylons that make up the national grid.

Just To Confuse Matters... UK Leased Line Providers Use Each Others Networks

Almost all UK leased line providers make use of dedicated circuits from their competitors' wholesale divisions!

It is often cheaper for them to do this than to extend their physical networks by digging up miles of road and pavement.

There are Many UK Leased Line Providers, Besides Those Listed Above!

For example, we at hSo can order circuits from all the above firms, at wholesale rates, and link circuits from different carriers together using our resilient 10Gbit/s MPLS core network.

We received so many requests for leased line pricing that we decided to automate the process of getting it.

We created a tool that compares quotes from many of the top UK leased line providers to find you the best deal.

To instantly find out how much a leased line SHOULD cost you, visit our leased line pricing tool.

Contact us

    • Head Office:
    • hSo, 50 Leman Street, London, E1 8HQ
    • Switchboard:
    • 020 7847 4500
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