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Choosing Business Connectivity: Should I Choose Leased Line or Broadband?

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Are you on the hunt for a connectivity solution that supports your business operations and maximises productivity? You may be wondering whether to opt for a leased line or a business’s broadband package. To help you make a decision, we’ve put together a handy guide below.

What are leased lines?

A leased-line is a dedicated data connection with a fixed bandwidth. Unlike broadband connections, leased lines are not shared with other users and are rented by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to an organisation. Leased lines use the same technology seen in fibre-optic broadband. Unlike broadband, however, the connection to the ISP is dedicated to one firm and not shared by thousands of customers.

Leased lines are great for businesses with significant data needs, offering stable and high-quality connectivity along with guaranteed upload and download speeds. Indeed, leased lines are symmetrical, meaning they have identical upload and download speeds. This differs significantly from broadband, which often sacrifices upload speeds in favour of robust download capabilities. Symmetrical connections can be beneficial to highly connected businesses reliant on cloud services, collaborative platforms, and VoIP solutions.

What are the disadvantages of using a leased line?

If leased lines sound too good to be true, there are a few disadvantages you may wish to consider, including:

  • Lengthy installation process: Installing leased lines can take a while, depending on your specific requirements. The process sometimes involves construction work across multiple locations, taking up to three months to complete. FTTC or ADSL broadband, on the other hand, can be installed within a couple of weeks.
  • Price: Monthly leased line rental costs are often much higher than broadband alternatives. Businesses looking for speed and affordability may wish to opt for bonded-broadband solutions instead.

What’s the difference between leased line connectivity and broadband?

The main differences between leased line solutions and broadband are as follows:

1. Price

Typically, leased lines come with a higher monthly cost compared to broadband. As such, they may not be feasible for some smaller organizations.

2. Speed

Leased lines typically offer significantly quicker internet speeds than standard broadband services. If your employees are struggling to complete work due to sluggish upload and download speeds, a leased line could represent a long-term solution.

3. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Leased lines often come with some of the best SLAs in the industry, with many providers offering uptime guarantees of nearly 100%. Broadband providers, on the other hand, cannot offer such guarantees and tend to offer less efficient customer service solutions.

4. Monitoring

Leased lines are monitored at all hours of the day, so faults are detected quickly. Commercial broadband is not monitored in the same way, meaning connectivity issues are more likely to go on for significant periods of time.

5. Traffic prioritizing

Unlike broadband solutions, leased line ISPs typically allow clients to customise how traffic is prioritised. This may be useful if, for example, you wish to prioritize VoIP calls or cloud service functionality.

6. Phone line arrangements

FTTC and ADSL broadband connections are delivered through phone lines, meaning businesses typically have to pay for phone lines they may not use. With a leased line, you only have to pay for data transfer.

When would a leased line be better than broadband for a business?

Many businesses could benefit from a leased line. However, this is especially true if you have any of the following:

1. Heavy data transfer requirements: If your daily operations require super-quick data transfer, a leased line could enhance your productivity and ensure you don’t disappoint any clients. Businesses with heavy data requirements may include, for example, financial and trading firms or businesses wholly reliant on digital platforms such as e-commerce stores.

2. Lots of employees who rely on software as a service (SaaS) applications: SaaS services are becoming increasingly fundamental to some businesses. If you rely on customer relationship management (CRM) software, for example, a leased line will ensure your employees enjoy reliable access to client data and other kinds of vital information.

3. VoIP technologies: Any organisation that uses VoIP technology to support its communications strategy requires a reliable internet connection. While fibre broadband is usually adequate for such purposes, businesses that frequently sustain over 20 concurrent calls at a time may benefit from a symmetrical connection