Broadband vs Leased Line

If you’ve been looking at different business broadband options, you’ve probably seen leased lines mentioned a few times. But what are they and how are they different to your current broadband?

We’re going to cover some of the main differences between broadband and leased lines so you can decide which is best for your business.

1. Speed

Leased lines offer much higher speeds than standard broadband connections. Speeds on leased lines, far superior to the FTTC connections.

2. Price 

Obviously, this increase in speed comes with a price increase. Leased lines have a higher monthly cost than any other broadband connection.

3. Improved Up/Down Ratio

One of the aspects that makes leased lines ideal for business use is their improved up/down ratio. Whereas home users consume far more data than they upload, the same is not always true of businesses. Video calling, cloud services and data backup all require a healthy upload speed.

4. Uncontested Lines 

Standard broadband is always “contested” meaning that you are sharing your line with other users with the same provider. This means that the internet connection can become slower or less reliable at busier times of the day. Leased lines are “uncontested” meaning they are a direct connection from your premises to your ISP’s and are not shared by any other users.

5. Improved SLAs

The Service Level Agreements (SLAs) on leased lines are the most stringent and customer-friendly industry. The majority have uptime guarantees of at least 99.9%. Though these guarantees are offered by some business broadband packages they are unheard of on home broadband packages.

6. Reliable Fibre Connections 

A difference between broadband vs leased line is that the former tend to be completely fibre connections, while the latter tend to (at least partially) operate over copper wiring. Copper wiring is less reliable and more susceptible to the elements than a fibre connection.

7. Proactive Monitoring

Unlike commercial broadband, leased lines are monitored 24/7 for faults. This means that often, any connection problems have already been detected and fixed by your ISP before you would notice them.

8. Truly Unlimited

Many broadband packages sold as “unlimited broadband” are subject to a “fair use” clause that allows your ISP to throttle the speed during busy times or after you have downloaded a certain amount during a month.

All leased lines are true unlimited broadband with no throttling and no upload or download limits.

9. Lead Time For Installation

While broadband can often be installed within 2 weeks, leased lines can take anywhere up to 60 days. So, if you are considering a leased line, make sure you leave enough time to install it before you need it to be operational.

10. True Connection Speeds

Most commercial broadband packages are sold at “best effort” speeds. This means you rarely get the headline number that the ISP advertises. Your package might say it’s 100Mbps, but a speed test will often show that you are getting closer to 60-70Mbps even during less busy periods.

Leased lines give you the true speed advertised.

11. Traffic Prioritisation

ISP’s of leased lines often let you customise the priority of your traffic. For example, a call centre may wish to have their VoIP calls take top priority whereas other businesses would prioritise their cloud services backups over their web traffic.

12. Lower Latency

Latency is greatly reduced when using a leased line. If you are frequently making a lot of VoIP calls or doing video conferencing this can make your experience much smoother. Financial industries also benefit from low latency as even milliseconds can make a big difference when trading.

13. No Phone Line Attached

ADSL and FTTC broadband connections are both delivered over the phone line. This means you are often paying for a phone line that you may or may not be using. Leased lines are not associated with phone lines in any way and are only used for data. If you want to be able to make phone calls over the leased line you would need to implement a cloud-hosted service or use SIP trunks.

So which one is right for my business? Leased line or broadband?

The choice between the two options will come down to what you value most in your business. If you are focused on speed and reliability, then leased lines will be the obvious choice. If you are more focused on keeping costs low, then a standard business broadband connection will be more suitable.

However, when prioritising costs, it’s important to factor speed and reliability into your costs as well. For example, if you regularly have periods of downtime with your current broadband, it is worth considering what the cost to your business is of that downtime (in terms of lost revenue). Similarly, if you find that your productivity is being held back by slow speeds and that this negatively influences your profits, how good of a deal is the cheaper broadband package in the long run?

If you are still struggling to know which is the right choice, our team is here to help. Speak to one of our business telecoms experts today to learn about our range of business broadband and leased line packages. We can help to analyse your current setup and help you choose the most suitable upgrade to improve your productivity while keeping your costs under control.