What is Leased Lines – How It Works Explained 2021

What is Leased Line

A leased line can be the best solution for your business connectivity needs. Most of the businesses are moving towards this technology from traditional broadbands. In this article we focused on what is leased line and how its does works and beneficial for you business.

 

In this era of digitalization and technology, business processes are also evolving rapidly. Now all businesses, whether small companies or large enterprises, require an internet connection to run their businesses smoothly. It is essential for every business to maintain an online appearance to reach their target audience, and without a reliable internet connection, it is impossible. 

If it is a new term for you and you are hunting for more information on this new technology, this guide will provide you with all the necessary details on a leased line connection.”

Table of Contents

What Is a Leased Line?

What is Leased line

A leased line is a dedicated, symmetric and fixed bandwidth internet connection. It is used by data-hungry businesses that need reliable, high-quality internet with a guaranteed upload and download speed. However, when you get a connection that you need to share with other people, it affects the speed of the internet, and you may find it challenging to complete your tasks. That is why now businesses prefer leased lines that provide an uncontended connection without any disturbance.

“Leased” refers to a connection that is rented by the (Internet Service Provider) directly to your business. It offers a service that is in every way above and beyond the conventional broadband service.”

How Does Leased Line Work?

A leased line works by using the same technology as fibre-optic broadband. It sends pulses of lights over a fibre optic cable whenever you want to send data through a fibre leased line. The equipment at both sides lookout for light, whether it is on or off. This light signal represents the binary 0s and 1s of digital data. At one end, the equipment turns the light on and off to represent binary code while the equipment on the other side recognizes the data, records it and restores it as 0s and 1s.

How Leased line Works

The data travels with the speed of light, and the only limiting factor, in this case, is how fast the equipment at each side receives or sends light or binary signals.”

The leased line differs from the fibre optic connection because it is a connection that is leased to a business. Thus it is a unique connection for a particular firm instead of a connection that is shared between hundreds of others.

Characteristics Of Leased Lines

Leased lines have some distinctive characteristics that are as follows:

Uncontended

By definition, leased lines are uncontended, which means that it is a connection that is not shared with anyone else.

Symmetrical​

One important characteristic that makes leased lines different is that they are symmetrical. Therefore, they have the same upload and download speeds.

Point to Point

Leased lines connect two points together, for example, the Internet Service Provider with the business location.

We all know about a standard internet connection that we have in our homes. We can connect our tablets, phone, computers or TV to start browsing, streaming or downloading any content. But have you noticed when everyone in your area starts doing the same thing, the speed of the internet connection slows down? It happens because standard internet connections contend, and bandwidth is shared among all the users of an area.

 

On the other hand, you can receive your required bandwidth when you have a dedicated leased line because only you have access to it. Eventually, there is no disturbance or speed slow down issues even at peak times throughout the day. If you are a business owner, you can understand well what can be the effect of slow speed on the performance of your business. A poor internet connection can interrupt many processes, such as VoIP conference calls or sending large files.

Difference Between Symmetric Or Asymmetric?

Symmetric Leased Line
Asymmetric leased line

The asymmetrical connection provides you with the same upload and download speeds.

Along with being an uncontended connection, leased lines are also symmetric. Unlike traditional broadband or ADSL, it means they offer you the same speeds for upload and download. When you have a broadband connection, it will reduce your upload speed in order to provide you with high download speeds.

 

Symmetrical connections are beneficial for businesses using modern technologies and cloud services such as VoIP based telephony. Leased lines provide reliable, secure, fast download and upload speeds for modern business applications.

Different Types Of Leased Lines?

The leased line is the most reliable connection of the current time for business. Leased lines are categorized based on their allocated speeds. Following are different types of leased lines.

1- Fibre Ethernet Connection

It is also known as fibre ethernet and Ethernet access direct. It provides superfast direct ethernet connection through 100% fibre optic cables. The speed and data transmission are high compared to connections that use copper cabling. Fibre optics take less space, are less heavy and have high density. It can provide a speed of up to 1Gbps. Modern organisations use this connection for data-intensive applications and an increasing number of processes. Fibre ethernet leased line is the most reliable and fastest connection. However, you must keep in mind that it is the most expensive connection too.

Fiber Ethernet Leased Line
Fiber Ethernet-Leased Line

2- Ethernet First Mile (EFM)

Ethernet First Mile is also known as “Ethernet Broadband” that uses a traditional copper network to provide an internet connection to a business. It uses a full-fibre ethernet from the exchange. It is why it becomes an ideal connection for companies that do not have local fibre cabinets. EFM uses different sets of copper pairs to offer a resilient service. So if one set fails, the other takes over and provides a continuous connectivity solution. The speed offered by EFM is much lower than the fibre connection, but the service is resilient, fully symmetrical and has robust service level agreements. It provides a cost-effective solution to businesses who are looking for a cheap leased line connection.

Ethernet First Mile Leased Line
Ethernet First Mile-Leased Line

3- EoFTTC or Ethernet Over FTTC

EoFTTC (Ethernet over Fibre To The Cabinet) is the most recent development in data connectivity. It is a connection for businesses that have access to local fibre-based cabinets. This connectivity solution is similar to EFM but even cheaper. EoFTTC uses a mixture of copper and fibre with some drop off in speed. The speed is slow due to the distance of a business from the cabinet. Although it usually provides asymmetric connection, it allows businesses to increase the download speed well beyond the upload.

How Fast Can You Get a Leased Line?

Obviously, a leased line connection has high speed. A standard asymmetric fibre broadband connection mostly provides a download speed of maximum 100Mbps. This type of connection has contended, and its rate fluctuates at the peak times of the day. Traditional broadband shares the same fibre optic lines between multiple users. That is why broadband providers offer a connection at a lower cost.

When you have a leased line connection, you can get a breakneck speed. There are leased line providers in the Uk offering a speed of up to 10Gbps. As it is an uncontended and symmetrical internet connection, you can select how much speed you need from a leased line to fulfil your business requirements and your budget.

Suppose if you have a printing business, you may have to upload large work files of graphic designs in cloud storage so that clients can review them. A conventional broadband service provides you asymmetrical speed, which means the upload speed is nowhere near as fast as the download speed. With such a connection, you may sometimes need to wait for the whole day while your work is being uploaded.

On the other hand, when you have a business leased line, you can choose an upload speed to transfer large files in no time, and it also allows you to complete your essential business processes efficiently. Moreover, as you do not need to share your connection with other users, it ensures that you will get the required speed whenever you need it.

Fibre leased lines are generally described in two parts: line speed, and the other is bearer speed. It is usually written as 20/100. The number before slash represents leased line speed, and the number after is the bearer speed.

The line speed is basically the symmetrical speed you get when using a connection for both upload and download. In contrast, bearer speed is the maximum speed to which a line can go up. It means that if your business requirements change in the future and your current leased line speed is lower than bearer speed, you would be able to upgrade your leased line speed by paying a little more every month.

For example, currently, if you have a 20/100 speed, it means you are receiving 20Mbps upload and download speed. You can upgrade this speed up to 100Mbps, and it is an assurance that you can change your connection speed anytime according to your business needs. Most commonly, providers offer bearer speed from 100 Mbps to 1Gbps. However, there are some providers who even provide a speed of 10 Gbps, but it is not widely available.

Do You Need A Leased Line Connection?

In this era where most businesses are adopting cloud services, it makes sense to have a leased line connection that provides you access to an uncontended and symmetrical speed. However, speed is only one thing that makes a leased line connection a must have for your business infrastructure. Other than speed, leased lines can provide additional benefits for your business. When you have a symmetrical speed, you can use VoIP telephony and communications in a more reliable and efficient way.

 

Moreover, these connections come with a robust service level agreement, which ensures that if there is any fault, it will be fixed within hours instead of days or weeks. A leased line becomes an essential need for the business that relies highly on data to complete their day to day business operations.

Eventually, any business can use a dedicated leased line; the following are some categories of businesses according to their needs of having such a connection:

1- Data Transfer Needs

Businesses who require a fast data transfer to complete their daily business operations are potential leased line customers. It may include digital businesses that require fast response and interaction with their customers or financial services firms that need more rapid intelligence and trading capabilities. A leased line can be an ideal solution for businesses with speed-sensitive data transfer needs.

2- Use Of VoIP Services

All the businesses that are using VoIP as their communication solution need a stable and reliable connection. No doubt, standard fibre broadband is capable of handling VoIP calls. However, when you may have twenty or more calls simultaneously, you need a high quality, fast speed, symmetrical and resilient connection. It is because a call needs a quick response time from being spoken to speaking. Therefore, symmetrical connections are favored by businesses using VoIP services.

3- Heavy Use Of Cloud Applications & Software As Service

It is now common and considered as standard, using cloud services as a backbone of the business. Most organisations depend on customer relationship management software that is entirely cloud-based. Fibre leased lines help businesses to have access to such services. It is especially a solution for businesses that have large datasets in the cloud. Dedicated connections are particularly beneficial for data-focused companies that need to analyse and monitor their customer’s information in real-time or provide cloud applications to the clients themselves.

Conclusion:

There are a number of leased line providers in the UK, so it is not easy to select the best one for you. Here are some questions that you must ask your service provider before making a final decision.

Now that you know all the necessary information about the leased line. It will be easier for you to purchase a connection. We suggest shopping around and making price comparisons to find a cheap leased line connection that meets your business needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to getting a leased line, you just need to look for a view of the installation. There are several queries to handle, from survey appointments of your premises to engineer visits you must be aware of all. Ensure that the provider you choose has a dedicated team to manage all the installations and keep a close eye on how things are progressing. Your chosen must provide clear updates about the installation from time to time. Moreover, you may find a lot of industry jargon involved in it, so you must ask your provider to explain everything in plain English so that you can understand what is happening at every stage of installation.

All the dedicated fibre leased line services are highly reliable. Unlike traditional broadband services, leased line services are not affected by environmental factors such as water ingress or electronic interference in the network. One thing that makes the leased line different is that if the connection goes down due to any reason, it is fixed within hours. It usually takes five hours to fix the problem when there is a complete loss of connectivity. In contrast, copper-based broadband services can take several days to fix a problem.

However, if you rely entirely on the internet, five hours will seem like a long time when your whole business goes offline. That is why it is essential for you to make sure that your provider must have a backup plan. Most providers have a backup circuit that helps you keep online even if it has a slow speed. First, ask for a backup broadband connection included in the plan or not. But if you need a connection that is business-critical, you must ask your provider to provide a second leased line connection via a different route into the building. Other than that, you can have a backup supplier to keep your downtime less.

It is one crucial question that you should ask your provider. Ask about the hours for which their support team works and where the support team is based. You must ask about how you can connect to them to explain issues. It is not necessary that you provide all the help you need in setting up computers, wireless access points and switches in your workplace network. But they can assist you on a call and help you to plug your gateway or main switch into the termination equipment to make sure that you are all set and your connection is working.

However, if you rely entirely on the internet, five hours will seem like a long time when your whole business goes offline. That is why it is essential for you to make sure that your provider must have a backup plan. Most providers have a backup circuit that helps you keep online even if it has a slow speed. First, ask for a backup broadband connection included in the plan or not. But if you need a connection that is business-critical, you must ask your provider to provide a second leased line connection via a different route into the building. Other than that, you can have a backup supplier to keep your downtime less.

It is crucial for you to know which type of service you are purchasing. You can even buy a fibre optic leased as wires only. With this, you have the benefit of simply plugging in your equipment to the termination point and configuring your internet connection. But this type of leased line will give your provider very little visibility of your circuit and slows down the support time if there is an issue.

Alternatively, they may provide you with a router with your circuit in order to have some visibility of your circuit. This way, they can remotely monitor your circuit. If you take services from reputable providers, they can set rules for you and help you prioritise traffic that is important for you.

You must ask your leased line provider about how you can switch to any backup solution when you need it. Most commonly, when your primary circuit goes down, you have to plug your equipment into the backup circuit manually. However, it is better if your provider makes sure that it will occur automatically. In this case, there is a box present on-site handling that detects the slowdown in your main circuit within minutes and shifts connection to the backup circuit.

When you select a leased provider, you have to complete an order form. Once you accept the leased line quote, a number of activities run in the background to provide you with a leased line connection.
First, select a proper place at your premises where you want the leased line circuit to terminate. Most businesses have a separate room or communication rack for this purpose. As a part of the installation process, an engineer visits your site to find out the best route for fibre optic cable from the exchange to your business premises. During this plan, they also find out how much work they have to do to get the last bit of cable into your building and the selected termination point. If your mind changes during the process and you want to change your termination point, it can cause delays in installation and increase the cost.

If you have your business set up in a rental property, you have to contact your landlord as soon as possible. It is because the permission of the landlord is required to instal the circuit. If your landlord needs legal paperwork, it can also slow down the process.
A specific amount is charged from you as an installation cost. However, if your provider charges you any price above installation cost, it is known as excess construction charge. In the initial cost, providers may not be able to explain how much excess cost will be charged, but an indication is given whether they will charge this fee or not. You have 30 days to accept the quote and proceed further or to reject it without any penalty.

Time of leased line installation can vary depending on several factors, for example, which type of local infrastructure you already have in place. Usually, the site survey gives an estimated time of installation, but there is never a guaranteed date provided. It is because a number of parties are involved in the process of delivering the circuit. For example, if there is a need to dig up the road and install a new duct, applications are made to the local council to get permission. That is why some leased line orders can take several months to complete.

If you already have fibre optic infrastructure installed in your building, it will take a few weeks to complete the leased line installation. However, if there is no such infrastructure, you may have to wait for 45 to 90 days to complete the process. The installation of EFM takes the shortest time because there is no need for new fibre cables.

One way through which you can reduce installation time is to work with your provider by providing all the information whenever they send a query. If you have any issue with lead time, you can ask your provider to offer a temporary connectivity solution until your main service goes live.

The cost of a leased line connection varies with a number of factors, but commonly the lowest amount a business can expect to pay for a leased line is around £250 per month. This amount can vary depending on your premises location, the speed you need, monitoring and backup options.

However, if you rely entirely on the internet, five hours will seem like a long time when your whole business goes offline. That is why it is essential for you to make sure that your provider must have a backup plan. Most providers have a backup circuit that helps you keep online even if it has a slow speed. First, ask for a backup broadband connection included in the plan or not. But if you need a connection that is business-critical, you must ask your provider to provide a second leased line connection via a different route into the building. Other than that, you can have a backup supplier to keep your downtime less.