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 is the largest supplier of leased lines in the UK. However, since 2001, BT has been 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.
The country's second largest fibre network operator. Virgin Media was created by merging a large number of UK cable franchises, It was formerly called NTL:Telewest, and was rebranded following a merger with Virgin Mobile.
Spun off from mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, TalkTalk was formed by merging small ISPs Tiscali, AOL UK and Opal. It grew into a major residential ISP through mass-market advertising and sponsoring reality TV shows Big Brother and The X Factor. To serve its residential customers it installed equipment in 3000 of the UK's 5600 telephone exchanges. This has enabled it to offer ISP services to rival those of BT Wholesale, including a symmetric bonded alternative to ADSL called EFM.
Originally owned by the local authority in Hull, KCOM was privatised and now offers services outside of Hull by using BT's network. KCOM still has a near-monopoly in Hull.
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.
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.
Industry consolidation has reduced the number of UK leased line providers that have their own physical networks
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.