I got a quote and it is considerably higher than business ADSL, why is that?
What is a leased line?
This definition is provided on the wiki page for leased lines:
A private bidirectional or symmetric telecommunications line between two or more locations provided in exchange for a monthly rent. Sometimes known as a private circuit or data line in the UK.
What do businesses used them for?
It is used by UK businesses to connect 2 business locations. The business locations are usually:
- another office
- a datacenter connected to the internet for internet access
- a datacenter on the business wide area network (WAN)
They have several attributes which mean they are purchased to run mission critical applications in businesses. Examples of such mission critical data applications include VOIP, data back-up, hosted applications and virtual private networking (VPN).
What makes leased lines ideal for these uses?
The main thing that businesses require is reliability and speed. It is a dedicated connection and this means several important things:
- The speed of the service is dedicated to you – effectively the bandwidth speed is all yours and not shared, as it is with contended services such as business DSL.
- The service is guaranteed – the guarantee applies to speed and uptime. The guarantee comes in the form of a service level agreement (SLA). The SLA is a contract between the business and the provider. Usually the SLA sets out a contractual guarantee that the speed e.g. 10Mbps will be available, for 99.99% of the time.
- The bandwidth’s speed is omnidirectional – this means it is the same speed upstream and the same speed downstream. There are significant application speed benefits of symmetrical bandwidth for VOIP, hosted applications, data backup and VPN.
It isn’t an internet connection on it’s own.
A business needs to procure internet access over the service. Typically a UK business will order a 10mb, 100mb or 1gb bearer. Then they will order or provision the appropriate amount of internet access over the bearer. For example a business may purchase 30mb of internet access over a 100mb bearer.
What determines the cost?
The main factors that determine how much it will cost are:
- Location – the location of the site to be connected is a key factor in cost. If fibre is already in the location or near it will be cheaper to provision the circuit.
- Competition – the more providers at a site, the cheaper the cost.
- Speed – the faster the speed of bearer and internet access provisioned, the higher the cost.
What are the advantages?
- The speed available is vastly superior and flexible for upgrade/downgrade
- Symmetrical bandwidth
- Guaranteed availability
- Guaranteed speed
- Highly secure
The main disadvantage is cost.
The ongoing rental is expensive. Depending on your location, there may be significant installation fees. These fees are called excess construction charges (ECC). You will have to wait between 30-90 days for an installation. This is because of the physical work, and potentially digging, to get the fibre to your installation premises.