• image depicting a fibre optic leased line internet connection by Spectrum Internet

Why does my business need a leased line?

Businesses now rely on the internet – everything we do in business involves it, from using software crucial to your business, to communicating with customers, sending files, and your billing or POS software. That’s why a ‘good’ business broadband connection is no longer good enough. You can’t afford to lose half a day or more of trade or production because your broadband connection has packed in for the nth time, and therefore you need a connection that is 100% reliable. The only way to guarantee your business never goes without internet connectivity is to use a connection called a leased line. Leased Lines are used by the world’s top businesses who understand the importance of their internet connection and how crucial it is to ensuring profitability.

What is a leased line and how is it different from broadband?

Your current broadband connection comes from an internet exchange, a building found in every city that supplies the internet. Cabling from this exchange feeds the internet to a green cabinet near your premises, then the internet coming into the cabinet is divided up and sent out from the cabinet to the businesses connected to it. When a business relies on the internet, this presents a number of problems. The speed of the connection and the type of connection available depends on your location. If the buildings and roads in your area were built a long time ago, you’re probably only going to be able to get low broadband speed due to the copper cable under the ground. Modern buildings may be fibre enabled, but the connection can still be unreliable and slower than is possible.

When your business broadband comes from a cabinet, a finite amount of internet data per second is fed into the cabinet, and the buildings connected to that cabinet share it, so if the business next door uploads large files all day, they’re going to be slowing the connection down for everyone else. This is what’s called ‘contention’.

diagram of a leased line internet connection by Spectrum Internet Wales

A leased line doesn’t go through the cabinet, it comes straight from the exchange to your building and is fibre optic cable the whole way along. Because it’s not going through the cabinet the internet sent through it is reserved for your business and your business only, and therefore its completely ‘uncontended’. Think of it as a private lane on the motorway. All the other cars are stuck in a traffic jam, whereas your lane is completely free as no one else can use it. Because this line is reserved for your business you rent it from the internet company, hence why it’s referred to as a ‘leased’ line.

Speed

With regards to speed, this is the interesting part. As it’s your business’s private line, you can decide how much internet you want to come through it. The only stipulation is that leased lines have maximum capacities, so be sure to have one installed that can handle more internet than you think you’ll ever need. Leased lines are available up to an incredible 10gb per second capacity. To put that into perspective for you, if you currently have a 30mbps download speed, a 10gb leased line is capable of being over 300 times faster.

Leased lines can also be ‘flexed up’ meaning that if you currently pay for a 100mbps connection but for some reason need 200mbps for a month, that change can be made for you same day by our engineers, provided your

leased line has the required capacity available. Being completely uncontended also means that the speed you pay for isn’t an estimate as it is with broadband, its fact. If you pay for 100mbps, that’s exactly what you will get.

Leased lines are also symmetrical connections, meaning that the upload and download speeds are equal, So if you have a 100mbps connection, its 100mbps download and upload. Perfect for anyone sending large files regularly.

Latency

Another factor to consider is what’s known as ‘latency’. The speed of your internet connection depends on two factors, the bandwidth, i.e. the amount of data being transferred per second, and latency, the speed at which this data travels from its point of origin to its destination. Latency is therefore the ‘lag’ between the internet data leaving the exchange and arriving at your computer – which isn’t super important with loading web pages or streaming video, but can be critical in a business situation. Have you ever seen a news broadcast where they talk to someone in a different country live via satellite? There’s always a noticeable pause before the person in the other country responds. This is caused by latency, as the person in the other country hasn’t heard the question in real time when the person in the studio said it. If you speedtest your connection, the ‘ping’ is how many milliseconds the data takes to get from your exchange to your device.

Because leased lines connect your premises directly to the exchange they benefit from super low latency (the leased line in our office has a ping of 2 milliseconds). How does this apply to your business I hear you ask? If you use skype or another video chat software for meetings then you’ll need the lowest latency possible. Same goes for VoIP, as for VoIP to work correctly the voice packets need to be sent with as little latency as possible or a delay in communication will be evident.

Reliability

Because Spectrum Internet leased lines are the internet connection of choice for businesses that can’t go without internet, they come with a host of services to ensure that there will never be a problem.

You leased line is managed by our team of engineers, who check it daily for any issues that may arise. In the rare instance that there was a problem, our engineers almost always have it fixed before the customer has even noticed. Your leased line also comes with a financially backed Service Level Agreement, meaning that we guarantee the service against faults, and should your business ever experience downtime, we’ll compensate you financially.

You’ll also have your own team who will project manage your installation and switch over, and be on hand should you have any questions or need to flex up occasionally.

What’s the catch I hear you ask? There is no catch, however as you might imagine, leased lines can be significantly more expensive than a standard business broadband connection. You need to bear in mind however that this service facilitates the running of your business, and therefore it allows you to bring in far more revenue than it costs. For a fraction of a day’s turnover per month you can now rest assured that your business will never experience loss of earnings due to an unreliable internet connection ever again.

For more information on leased lines, speak to one of our advisors or see www.spectruminternet.com/leased-lines.

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