Leased Lines – Fast Connectivity for Businesses
Leased lines are dedicated symmetric data connections that link two locations.
Leased lines come in a range of sizes, from 2Mbit/s up to 10Gbit/s plus. The higher the speed, the more they cost.
The higher speeds are all delivered over a fibre-optic network. The lower speeds may be delivered over fibre, or over a mix of fibre and copper (DSL).
Leased lines are non-contended. In other words, the bandwidth is reserved for you. At peak times, other customers usage doesn't slow down your connection.
This is in contrast to ADSL, where customers often experience a drop-off in speed at peak times, as more and more users try to share the same limited bandwidth between their local telephone exchange and their ISP.
This dedicated bandwidth is the reason why leased lines are a lot more expensive than ADSL connections.
For Businesses, not consumers
Most leased lines are bought by businesses. Very few our bought by consumers, as leased lines are a lot more expensive than contended ADSL broadband connections.
Leased lines are symmetric. Their upload speeds match their download speeds.
Most Internet connections are asymmetric. They have a fast upload speed, but a painfully slow upload speed.
Leased lines are usually unmetered. In other words, you can download or upload as much data as your connection can support.
This contrasts with most broadband connections that only allow you to download a certain amount of data per month, and that may slow your connection down if you exceed that quota.
Often leased lines will be joined together to form a corporate wide-area-network. A WAN enables your offices to easily share IT resources between your different sites.
Telephony can be provisioned over your corporate WAN, allowing you to make free calls between your offices.
Leased lines can be used to carry phone calls. Why would you want to do that? It can save the company money, by reducing or eliminating ISDN circuit rental charges, and lowering call costs.
To do this, you need to pick a leased line provider who can offer SIP Trunking, and who can prioritise the traffic on your leased lines to ensure that call quality doesn't suffer in the event that your leased line becomes congested.
Faster Fix Times
If your leased line suffers a fault caused by a physical fault, you'll probably get a faster fix than you would if there was a physical problem with your ADSL connection. Often, leased line carriers will dispatch someone to fix a fault at any hour of the day. Contrast that with ADSL, which is usually only fixed within business hours, and often not on the day of your choosing.
Leased lines usually come with Service Level Agreements, specifying a target for minimum amount of uptime you'll get. The SLA will also set out the compensation that will be paid, if that target is not met. ADSL connections don't usually come with these SLAs. Your service will be provided solely on a best-efforts basis. If you suffer downtime, that's just your tough luck. They'll be no compensation.