Leased Lines vs Broadband

Over the last few years we’ve seen broadband speeds increase and leased line costs decrease. There now seems to be an overlap between the two services. This raises the questions for many IT managers as to which service to opt for.

Which is best for businesses?

Well that depends on a number of things; how your businesses uses the internet, how many users you have and how critical the internet is to your company.

Before we explore these further it’s worth looking at the two types of technology…

Leased Lines – A leased line is a network connection; rented from a service provider, that connects two locations. Often these are an organisation’s premises and a network providers data centre. Speeds can go from 2Mbps (megabit per second) to 10Gbps (gigabit per second). Fibre Broadband – A fibre broadband connection is a connection between two points, again usually a business premise and data centre or network node. There are three big questions to ask when deciding which service to opt for.

1. Internet Use

If you use your internet connection for surfing, sending email and uploading images to your website, the chances are that fibre broadband will be a great service for you. On the other hand, if you have remote workers or offices accessing your network via the internet, access the web for business critical applications, run video conferencing services or other higher bandwidth tools a leased line may be a better option.

2. Users

If you have more than 20 users it maybe worth considering a leased line. Do you have employees or suppliers that access applications on your corporate network (for example email or shared storage)? A leased line will give them a better experience, and could improve productivity, when accessing your network.

3. What would happen if…

What would happen if you lost internet access? Would it be a pain but you’d carry on for a couple of days? Or, would your organisation lose money? If it’s the latter a leased line is definitely the right option. A good supplier will have a very good service level agreement in place, it could end up paying you if the connection goes down.

Leased Line vs. Fibre Broadband: Conclusion

To compare these two services isn’t really valid. Both services have very different aims. If you have a larger number of users, or if your organisation will lose revenue if it loses the connection a leased line could be for you.

Another thing to consider is what else you can do with a leased line, to increase its utility. We often provide leased lines with bandwidth segmented to run other applications that don’t need access to the web. Your leased line is then helping the organisation function better as well as providing high bandwidth internet access.