Why your company needs a leased line
If your company has 10 or more employees, or needs to download and upload large amounts of data, it is a good idea to consider a leased line. A leased line is a dedicated line that connects your building with the exchange, and ultimately the internet
The advantages are that it is for the sole use of your company and it is fast. Normal broadband speeds are dependent on how many users there are using it at any one time - as the infrastructure is shared by business and residential users, it can slow down considerably at peak times. As the capacity of your leased line is limited to only the number of users you have authorised, everyone will consistently benefit from high speeds and a great connection every time they use the system.
A leased line isn’t essential, but the speed is so much better. With so many companies working on systems based in the cloud, it is crucial for them to have a good and reliable broadband connection. In this circumstance, a leased line is hugely advantageous.
What’s the difference between a leased line and broadband?
In a nutshell, leased lines are the Rolls-Royce of business connections. You will be physically connected via a dedicated fibre optic cable which is exclusive to your company. This means you have guaranteed and consistent high speeds for both downloads and uploads.
With a standard broadband connection, performance is dependent on how good your broadband is. Broadband lines are shared (‘contended’) which means that the speed and quality will depend on a variety of factors, such as how many people are online at any given time - which is why service levels can only be advertised as being ‘up to’. And while standard lines have good download speeds, they generally have slow upload speeds. Leased lines, on the other hand, are ‘symmetric’, meaning they have equally fast download and upload speeds.
When it comes to service level agreements (SLAs), leased lines have a huge advantage over broadband. If there's a problem, the fix times for leased lines are always treated as a priority with an SLA of just four hours. With standard broadband, this could be anything up to five days. If your company depends on your broadband, any kind of outage has the potential to be disastrous.
Bandwidth and costs
The leased line bandwidth you will need depends on how many employees will be using it and what they’ll be using it for. Design and media companies, for example, tend to download and upload extremely large files which means they need greater bandwidth in order to work efficiently. For an average office, a leased line bandwidth of 100 megabytes will be appropriate for a company with 30 staff members, and will cost around £300 a month, depending where the office is located. Bandwidth availability can be increased to 1 gigabyte (around £500 a month) and can be as large as 10 gigabytes, although this capacity is rarely used.
Leased line technology has become a lot cheaper in recent years, so if you’ve looked at it in the past and found it too expensive, it’s time to look again. Five years ago, 100 megabytes would have cost a thousand pounds a month - it’s now only around £300! Your geographical location is also a factor in cost. In areas where there is a good leased line presence, such as London and, increasingly, in parts of Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin, the costs could be even lower.
With all your staff using email, CRM and document management systems online, the quality of your connection matters. If your connection is inefficient, it will slow employees down when they’re accessing or saving files online, thereby reducing productivity. By switching to a leased line, everyone will always have a fast connection, enabling them to keep working without having to wait. Spending a couple of minutes waiting for a file to save doesn’t sound a lot on an individual basis, but over your whole company, it adds up. A leased line could potentially free up around two hours a day for every staff member - if you have 30 employees all working with slow connections, they could be losing a combined 300 hours a week! Therefore, the amount you pay for a leased line could easily be recouped by the extra productivity it affords your business.
Other advantages of leased lines
Business continuity - there is always a backup service for a leased line, via 4G or broadband, so if a line fails, you will automatically be switched to an alternative connection. This allows your company to continue working without a break in continuity. Issues will also be fixed within four hours.
Voice priority - if you’re on a phone or video call and want to send a large file at the same time, we will be able to prioritise the voice call over the upload/download. By giving bandwidth priority to your phone call, the data will be slightly slowed down, but it will not interrupt your telephone conversation.
Contact us if you would like to find out more about how leased lines could help your business.