HELPING YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN FIBRE BROADBAND INTERNET OR A FIBRE LEASED LINE.
More speed for your money.
Within the last few years, Fibre Broadband connectivity speeds and availability have significantly increased while the costs have decreased. This has generated an overlay between Fibre Broadband internet and Fibre Leased Lines.
Because of the implementation of new technologies, this type of crossover in services has left many business owners trying to determine whether to use Fibre Broadband internet or a Fibre Leased Line. In this article, we look to help you determine which service will best serve your business.
FIBRE BROADBAND AND FIBRE LEASED LINES IN A NUTSHELL.
It is likely that you understand the concept of fibre optic broadband connectivity and how it works but you may not be aware of some of the differences and advantages each service may have to offer to your business.
This is Fibre Broadband.
Fibre broadband provides high speed Internet connectivity between two locations. This type of connection exists between the service provider location or network node and your business.
This is a Fibre Leased Line.
Similar to fibre broadband Internet, a Leased Line is a network connection that you rent from the Internet service provider. The service connects two locations such as your business and the service provider’s data center. However, it is a dedicated line set up to serve only your company and is not shared with other users.
Leased Line speeds can range from 2Mbps to as much as 10Gbps. Internet service is provided to your business using fibre optic cable connectivity. However, with the recent inception of EFM (Ethernet in the First Mile), the connectivity technology has changed in order to establish better reliability and to meet the needs of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
EFM is commonly referred to as Ethernet Internet or Ethernet Broadband and is used as an Ethernet connection for your business. This means the connection, which is uncontended, can be established using a WAN (Wide Area Network) port and a standard Ethernet cable.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE (between Fibre Broadband and a fibre leased line, not the knights, obviously).
There’s a difference in cost.
A Fibre broadband service is typically offered at a fixed cost.
The cost of a Leased Line service is dependent upon your business location. Plus, the costs are determined by the distance between the service provider and your company location.
Overall, a Leased Line typically costs more than a fibre broadband Internet service.
Availability and performance also differs.
Fibre broadband services are commonly shared with other subscribers. This means you also share the bandwidth which can result in a decrease in performance.
A Leased Line service is a dedicated line set up to serve only your company and is not shared with other users.
As do the download and upload speeds.
Fibre broadband services offer asymmetric performance. This means the download capacity is larger and the upload capacity is smaller.
Leased Line services offer symmetrical performance where both the download and upload speeds are equal. If the service is customized, Leased Lines can also be designed as asymmetrical.
UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT LEASED LINES.
Many businesses opt to subscribe to a Leased Line service mainly because it provides high performance at a lower cost. Leased Lines also offer a connection that can be customised to ensure consistent bandwidth and improved uptime, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all configuration.
You’ll get a high performance dedicated private connection.
A Leased Line serves only your business and is a connection that is constantly active or “always on.” The rent is typically paid as an annual subscription and provides both data and voice services.
Unlike a fibre broadband Internet connection, a Leased Line does not have any competition for bandwidth since it is a private dedicated connection. This provides your business with guaranteed bandwidth backed by an SLA (Service Level Agreement).
Since a Leased Line service provides a private connection, it is also commonly called a point to point connection, dedicated access line, private line or private circuit. This type of service improves your Internet connection, offers better reliability, and provides better QoS (Quality of Service).
And you’ll get guaranteed speeds.
With a Leased Line service, you are guaranteed the agreed upon download and upload speeds at all times. This provides your business with better performance than a fibre broadband connection where you are competing for speed and bandwidth with other users. Additionally, you can adjust the download and upload speeds as necessary to meet specific business requirements. This means you only pay for the bandwidth you use.
That’s not all.
When you use a Leased Line service, your business can run a variety of business solutions more efficiently. Some of the solutions may include a Virtual Private Network, communications, VoIP, hosted applications and web hosting, to name a few. The providers of Leased Line services usually offer you several package options to help meet specific business needs in terms of bandwidth and speed requirements.
THESE BUSINESSES WOULD BENEFIT FROM USING A LEASED LINE SERVICE.
- Businesses that require high performance speeds to run mission critical and remote access programs around the clock 24/7 that are guaranteed by a detailed Service Level Agreement.
- Businesses that use multiple connections simultaneously for running file sharing programs, collaboration platforms, email access software, and data transfer applications.
- Businesses that require unlimited data transfer.
- Businesses that require fast and reliable data backup with a third party provider
These are only a few examples of why some companies choose to use a Leased Line service. Overall, Leased Lines are for any business that wants fast and reliable connectivity that allows for improved productivity and customer retention.
THIS IS WHATS USUALLY INCLUDED IN A LEASED LINE SERVICE.
A Leased Line service usually includes the following:
- Dedicated Line: A fully dedicated line that is not shared with other users.
- Router: A router is managed by the service provider and installed in a communications facility within your business.
- Back Haul Circuit: A back haul circuit may be installed depending upon your business location and distance from the service provider. This typically takes place unnoticed and may be configured over a network provided by a third party.
- Uptime Guarantee: Most Leased Line service providers offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee backed by a detailed Service Level Agreement. Additionally there is a service guarantee for technical support.
That’s not all.
The backbone network and performance measures such as jitter and latency, are monitored as part of your SLA making Leased Line services more reliable.
- Download and Upload Speed Guarantee: Unless your connection is customized, the download and upload speeds are guaranteed to be the same. You also have the option to adjust the speeds as needed and according to business demands.
- Bandwidth Guarantee: Since you are not sharing bandwidth with other users, access to appropriate bandwidth is guaranteed at all times. You also have the ability to adjust the bandwidth as your business needs change. This is accomplished using a bearer circuit which allows you to easily add more bandwidth without having to change the line.
If your business is currently using a 20 Mbps line, you can significantly increase the amount of bandwidth to 100 Mbps using a 100 megabit bearer circuit.
- Unlimited Data: Leased Line services to not place a cap on data usage. Instead, you can use as much or as little data as you like.
- Low Latency Guarantee: Most of the reputable Leased Line providers offer a low latency guarantee which is important when it comes to VoIP communications and other mission critical business applications.
- Permanent IP Addresses: A Leased Line service provides your business with multiple permanent IP addresses. This allows your company to easily run specific business applications, web servers, email servers, and more.
BEFORE DECIDING ON A FIBRE BROADBAND OR LEASED LINE SERVICE.
There are a few things to consider in regard to business operations.
How many users do you have?
If your company employs more than 20 end users that access bandwidth intensive applications, a Leased Line may be your best option to ensure reliability and productivity. Additionally, if your business requires connectivity from one site to another, a Leased Line will provide you with the performance you need to conduct daily business operations.
What are your bandwidth requirements?
Before you consider an upgrade, it is necessary to assess the applications you use on a daily basis. Then categorise the applications in terms of bandwidth intensity, number of simultaneous users at peak times, types of applications being accessed such as VoIP, hosted CRM (Customer Relationship Management), amount of service traffic, email access, and more.
Once you have a handle on bandwidth requirements, a Leased Line service provider can tailor the bandwidth to meet your business needs. Additionally, you must take into consideration how critical a reliable high speed connection is to your business and discuss this with your service provider.
WHY PAY MORE FOR A LEASED LINE IF IT’S SLOWER?
Many business owners question the difference in cost between a fibre broadband service and a Leased Line service. In most cases, you will see lower price points for fibre broadband service with a higher performance speed. In comparison, Leased Lines have a higher price point with slower speeds.
Fibre Broadband and Leased Lines are not equal. When determining the answer to this question, it is important to remember you are not comparing two services that are equal. Fibre broadband service providers typically advertise the maximum speed that is possible achieve. However, you almost never reach these speeds because the connection is shared with other users.
With a Leased Line, you are guaranteed to reach the speeds as specified by the service provider. If they promise 10Gbps, then 10Gbps is what you will receive around the clock 24/7.
Cost is dependent upon several factors, including:
Sometimes the reason for the higher cost is the distance between your business location and the service provider PoP (Point of Presence). The PoP is the core network access point to your service provider.
Some of the service providers will try and steer you toward specific amounts of bandwidth which can result in a higher cost for bandwidth you may not need. Instead, ask them to give you a variety of quotes for bandwidth speed amounts. There are many different bandwidth choices when considering a Leased Line service package.
You will find that a few service providers do not use advanced technologies that help to keep the costs of Leased Line services reasonable. You can reduce the costs of a Leased Line service by choosing a provider that uses General Ethernet Access (GEA) technology or Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM).
If your business is located in a rural area, you may pay more for a Leased Line service due to lack of competition. If you are located in a large metropolitan area, there is more competition for your business and therefore, lower prices.
FINAL TAKE OUTS.
Fibre Broadband has its advantages.
It goes without saying that many companies rely on high speed broadband for daily business operations. Fibre broadband is often the connection of choice due to the lower cost and wide availability. If this type of connection meets your business needs, then it is most likely well suited for daily business operations.
But Leased Line services are the preferred option.
The good news is, Leased Line services are gradually decreasing in cost. This is one of the reasons businesses with a large user base are choosing this type of broadband connection. Additionally, with most organisations a lost connection can result in profit loss so, a Leased Line offers more reliability.
Also, there are other capabilities you can take advantage of using a Leased Line service. There are a few service providers that offer a Leased Line service with a specific amount of separate bandwidth allocated to run business applications that do not require Internet access. In this case, you not only get the bandwidth connection you need but, your business functions more efficiently as a whole.
If you are still on the fence in terms of cost and deciding on the type of upgrade you should pursue, the UK government recently introduced a Broadband Connection Voucher initiative. This program offers grant assistance for small to medium-sized businesses for up to £3,000 and includes installation costs. Contact Our IT Department today to find out more about the Broadband Connection Voucher initiative.
ABOUT OUR IT DEPARTMENT.
Our IT Department is an Award Winning IT Services organisation that provides a comprehensive range of Internet Connectivity solutions to organisations across London and the East of England. If you’re look for a trusted and highly accredited expert when seeking best advice or connectivity services then we can help you.
Our IT Department is ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 accredited.