Leased Lines Explained In Detail
What Is A Leased Line?
So what is this type of internet service and is it the best out there in the UK for data connectivity? What sort of high speeds are available with leased lines? How long does it take to get one installed? What size would i need to suit my business?
These are just some of the questions that we will be asking. If you are looking for all the answers and more then you are in the right place. With more and more business joining the bandwidth revolution, this is the right place for the right answers to your questions.
So what are we waiting for? Lets jump straight in and start clarifying everything to the best of our ability for you. So where do we start?
The Ultimate In Data Connectivity Solutions.
Offering a totally uncontended connection, a leased line is a dedicated line which you share with nobody, with bandwidth availability ranging from 10Mb to 10Gb with speeds that are totally symmetrical and offering reliability that easily surpasses all broadband packages on the market in the data network arena.
It also come with a 100% target SLA (service level agreement), totally unlimited usage, the ability to upgrade your bandwidth, a managed router plus 24/7 support 365 days a year. It really is the ultimate cost effective business solution.
So, can anyone get one?
Basically yes. The nearer you are to a town or city, the more chance there will be of success. If you live in the middle of a field surrounded by nothing then you can still get one BUT there will be the potential for huge extra charges but these will not be identified until a site survey has taken place. At this point if the charges are too high, you can simply cancel and explore other options. Usually you simply pay a monthly fee.
How fast can they go?
As fast as you want them to be! With speeds ranging from 10Mb right the way up to 10Gb, there is a speed suitable for every business of every size whether you’re an SME or large corporate.
The most common speed in the UK at time of writing (January 2018) is 100Mb. Over the next few years and due to the demand in modern day industries, this will rise to a 1Gb speed being the best selling!
How are the speeds delivered?
You may think it’s simply delivered using fibre Ethernet cables but there is more to it than that. If we take a 10Mb connection as an example, there are options.
Firstly we can use the traditional fibre optic for the line or secondly, a product such as EFM would utilise copper based technology. A lot of the local telephone exchanges can offer this but the availability depends on your distance from the exchange plus the availability of spare telephone lines.
There is also a FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) offering but a dedicated line still remains head and shoulders above the other technologies mentioned plus prices have come down so much that it’s worth paying that little bit extra for the quality you will get.
Do they have Telephony benefits?
It certainly can do! Once they have been installed at your business, the next step now the bandwidth is sorted is to save money on old style ISDN2’s and ISDN30’s to name just a couple of the technologies out there.
Newer technologies such as VoIP, SIP trunks and hosted telephony can cut your phone calls by more than half! That saving can then go towards the leased line making it even cheaper! Please ask for more details on our telephony offerings.
What equipment is needed to connect to it?
With all our connections we provide Cisco routers (or equivalent) which are shipped out pre-configured for you so you can simply “plug and play”.
What Is Included As Standard?
Is There A Backup Option?
Yes, there are several. In the very rare case of your line going “down”, you have the choice of backup options. The first would be to have a standard broadband backup. This is the cheapest option but in all cases, whatever backup line you choose, if the primary line does go down then it will automatically fail over to the backup line so you have an “always on” connection.
The second option, if available is EFM (Ethernet first mile) which is a very effective backup option for lower speed lines as this also has synchronous speeds but runs off copper technology.
And the final option is to have another leased connection from a different provider so for example, you would have your main connection from BT and the backup line would be from Virgin. This option gives you “true resiliency” and your service would never be affected but this is also the most costly.
Is there a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
Absolutely yes. All customers can expect a 99.9999% target service level agreement. This agreement, if breached and your service is down for a prolonged period of time then you will be entitled to service credits as a form of compensation. Please ask for a copy of the SLA.
If customers require an SLA of 100% then they must take a backup circuit. In the event of the main circuit going down, it will then automatically failover onto the backup circuit giving you a 100% SLA as there is no single point of failure.
A fix time of 1/2 hour response/4 hour fix SLA is what we work towards on any circuit regardless of whether they have a backup or not. If the timescales are not met then you are entitled to service credits which is worked out via the percentage over which the deadline was missed plus how much you are paying for your circuit.
What Are The Replacement Options?
If you have signed a 3 or 5 year contract and it’s coming up for renewal, you will be glad to hear that prices have dropped dramatically so you will no doubt be able to get a lot more bandwidth for the same price or if you are happy with the speed you have then we will be able to save you a whole lot of money.
Makes sure you get something with a big bearer so you have room to upgrade to higher speeds (should you need to) throughout the term of your new contract. As an example, if you bought a 100Mb connection and wanted to upgrade to say 200Mb, this is not possible but if you bought a 100Mb connection on a 1Gb bearer, you could upgrade to 200, 500, right the way up to the full 1Gb mark basically future proofing your business.
What is the difference between Copper And Fibre?
Copper was designed and used many years ago predominantly for phone lines. Is is still used to this very day but has its limitations. It was originally designed for transmitting only voice calls, not only that but it is dictated by distance with regards its effectiveness for the internet.
With Fibre you can get as much bandwidth as you want going right the way up to the eye watering speeds of 10Gb which is impossible with copper. Upload and download speeds on a fibre connection are synchronous while copper cannot duplicate this.
Security is also better with a fibre line. With a copper line, you can connect “taps” to the line to pick up electronic signals.
Another huge difference is reliability. Copper is ok but fibre is pretty much bulletproof! Copper does have it’s advantages when it comes to cost. As usual, with it being an old technology the cost is a lot less so pro’s and con’s.
What Can I Use A UK Leased Line For?
The main uses for them are connecting to the internet (do not compare this to broadband – it’s a whole different connection!), running VoIP (Voice over IP) for all your telephony needs, link together office pc’s in different locations, enable remote workers to log in and work from home. These are just a few examples.
What is the availability of them?
Tricky question but really it boils down to this. Where are you located, what bandwidth do you need and how big is your budget? If you have an unlimited budget then there is no barrier to you getting whatever speed in whatever location you wish.
With regards bandwidth, 10Mb to 1Gb is readily available across a huge area of the UK. If it’s not available then a provider can still get it to you whether that means road works, cutting down trees, they will find a way! If your budget is tighter then you’re in luck – We are the only company in the UK to offer a price promise guarantee so at least you have total peace of mind knowing you are getting the best deal out there.
What size line would suit my business?
This is the proverbial “How long’s a piece of string” question. The simple answer is without getting a better understanding of your business for example, how many users you have, what applications are you using? Telephony etc etc, we really are clutching at straws. The best option here is to call us up and have a chat in more detail about your requirement. Once we have all the information we need, we can create a bespoke offering tailor made for your business.
What is the lead time for installation?
The lead time across the whole of the UK from any provider is 65-75 working days on average or in other words, around 3 months. If all goes according to plan and no additional work is required then this time period is easily achievable. If however, additional works are required then obviously that time period can change and delays can happen which are completely out of our control.
Is it suitable for heavy bandwidth use?
Yes absolutely.They are a completely private circuit so you share your bandwidth with nobody. It’s also a totally unlimited service which means you can upload and download as much data as you wish without the speeds slowing down or being capped.
What is a Digital Leased Line?
It’s an old term for a hotline from the 50’s, 60’s 70’s era. Back then a hotline was a leased line – an old fashioned analogue telephone line which linked two sites together.
However, in the modern era it simply means a fixed bandwidth, symmetrical, dedicated digital connection between two sites. So basically they are the same thing. It’s just the “digital” part is now a bit “old school”.
How secure are they?
What are contention ratio’s?
If we use broadband as an example, you will see a degradation in the service where the speeds slow down dramatically usually at peak times of the day. The reason this happens is simple. Broadband is contended meaning that your internet connection is not just for you.
You share it with up to 50 other users within your area, 20 if its an OK broadband service. However, leased lines are uncontended. Basically that means it is a completely private line purely for your use and you will get none of the pitfalls associated with broadband as detailed above as you are on your own private network.
How much money can we save?
If you take into account the huge improvements in performance, reliability and up time which in turn will improve organisational efficiency, then yes you can save a huge amount of money!
What are my replacement options?
If you have signed a 3 or 5 year (pre existing) contract and it’s coming up for renewal, you will be glad to hear that prices have dropped dramatically so you will no doubt be able to get a lot more bandwidth for the same price or if you are happy with the speed you have then we will be able to save you a whole lot of money.
Makes sure you get something with a big bearer so you have room to upgrade to higher speeds (should you need to) throughout the term of your new contract. As an example, if you bought a 100Mb line and wanted to upgrade to say 200Mb, this is not possible but if you bought a 100Mb line on a 1Gb bearer, you could upgrade to 200, 500, right the way up to the full 1Gb mark basically future proofing
Can it be upgraded?
Yes and no. Basically, the purchase is the most important aspect and you need to make sure you know what you are buying. As in all industries there are “cowboys” out there who will tell you anything just to get you to sign up for a 3 or 5 year term.
The number one thing to remember is this. Can your business grow with your new connection? Basically if you bought a 10Mb line on a 3 year term and in 18 month you want more bandwidth, you would have to buy another line. A very costly mistake which could have been avoided if you had bought the 10Mb on a 100Mb bearer option.
Because you have the 100Mb bearer already in place, you can upgrade to 20Mb, 50Mb right the way up to the full 100Mb and future proof your business.
Can I use an existing Firewall?
Yes you can use any firewall. If unsure, please ask.
Is the service fully managed?
Absolutely. We offer a fully managed service. This also takes into account the management of the CPE and constant monitoring of the circuit itself along with data centre monitoring.
What support is available?
The support we offer as standard with every circuit is 24/7/365 so 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year support with a 2 hour response, 4 hour fix SLA. Among the best in the industry!