What Is a Leased Line?

Businesses that need a fast, symmetrical connection with guaranteed bandwidth and low latency are often candidates for a leased line. These include FinTechs enabling financial trading, e-commerce sites with high and fluctuating stock levels, or data-focused tech businesses that need to transfer large files quickly.

A leased line is a dedicated tunnel between two points, that is always active and rented monthly for a specific price. They offer incredibly high speeds.

What is a leased line?

A leased line is a dedicated data connection that runs between two business locations. It’s a great option for businesses that require a high-speed, uncontended internet connection – unlike standard broadband which is shared with other users at home (causing your download and upload speeds to dip during peak times).

Most commonly used to set up a private telecommunications network between sites, a leased line can be delivered wirelessly via radio or physically with fibre cables. Using radio has the advantage of rapid lead times and no need to dig up roads or pavements, which can often cause problems for other types of connections such as cable.

Leased lines are synchronous, which means that they have the same upload and download speed – unlike DSL (which tends to favour faster download speeds). As such, they’re perfect for business that need to transfer large files or host on servers. They also come with a guarantee of uptime and resilience, which are not always guaranteed by other connection types such as DSL or fibre.

What is the difference between a leased line and a broadband connection?

A leased line is an uncontended connection with guaranteed bandwidth that gives businesses the speed, reliability and security they require. For example, if your business relies heavily on online backup or cloud-based software that requires uploads, then the stability offered by a leased line will help you avoid costly downtime through impact to team efficiencies and customer service.

A key difference is that leased lines are symmetrical meaning they have equal download and upload speeds – unlike broadband which tends to favour faster download speeds. This is ideal for sending large files, backing up data, using VoIP telephony and hosting websites on premises.

A leased line is also guaranteed with an SLA which means that in the unlikely event that your business experiences connectivity issues, your ISP will be aware straight away and work against pre-determined fix times to get it resolved. Broadband connections, on the other hand, can take much longer to restore if there is an issue with the cabinet that delivers your business’s internet.

What are the benefits of a leased line?

Businesses that operate a telephone system and use internet applications will benefit from the speed, reliability and resilience that comes with leased lines. A leased line is a private connection that’s solely dedicated to your business, with symmetrical download and upload speeds.

This can be especially useful for businesses that regularly transfer large files, preventing those critical data transfers from stalling due to a poor or unreliable connection. It also means that customers can receive faster online service from businesses, helping to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Leased lines are backed by clear SLAs, meaning that your provider is committed to ensuring that the service you receive meets certain standards and targets. Those companies who rely heavily on internet-powered technology should consider moving over to a leased line as soon as possible.

What are the disadvantages of a leased line?

In contrast to standard broadband connections that allow unlimited usage and fast download speeds, leased lines offer dedicated bandwidth that is only for the use of your business. They also come with a guaranteed service level agreement, giving businesses peace of mind that their connectivity will always be up and running.

Businesses that rely on internet-based applications and data transfer, such as cloud storage services or software application platforms, are good candidates for leased line connectivity. However, it’s not a necessity for all businesses; those that don’t regularly require mass data transfer may be better off with a cheaper alternative such as a business fibre connection.

Leased lines can be installed wirelessly via radio or by fibre cables and are typically delivered within 10-21 working days of ordering. Fibre connections, on the other hand, can take 60-90 days as they involve digging up roads and pavements to install physical cable infrastructure. These lead times can cause delays for businesses that rely on these connections, potentially impacting productivity and a company’s bottom line.

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