A leased line, also known as a dedicated line, connects two locations for private voice and/or data telecommunication service. A leased line is not a dedicated cable; it is a reserved circuit between two points. The leased line is always active and available for a fixed monthly fee.
Leased lines are most commonly rented by businesses to connect branch offices of the organization. Leased lines guarantee bandwidth for network traffic between locations.
For example, T1 leased lines are common and offer the same data rate as symmetric DSL.
Individuals can theoretically rent leased lines for high-speed internet access, but their high cost deters most people, and far more affordable home options are available with higher bandwidth than a simple dial-up phone line, including residential DSL and cable internet broadband service.
Fractional T1 lines, starting at 128 Kbps, reduce this cost somewhat. They can be found in some apartment buildings and hotels.
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an alternative technology for using a leased line. VPNs allow an organization to create a virtual and secure connection between locations as well as between those locations and remote clients such as employees.
Broadband Internet Services:
For consumers who are looking for internet access, a leased line is usually not a feasible option. There are fast broadband internet connections available that are much more affordable.
Access to these broadband services varies depending on location. In general, the farther from a populated area you live, the fewer broadband options are available.
Digital Subscriber Lines: DSL service uses existing telephone wiring to deliver broadband service. Voice telephone service does not use all of the broadband capacity of the telephone system’s copper twisted pair of wires, and DSL utilizes the free space.
Cable Modems: Cable service represents another pre-existing wire into many homes. The coaxial cable is used to carry the additional broadband internet signal.
Wireless Broadband: Wireless Broadband uses a radio link between the user’s location and the service provider’s facility. The range is limited, making availability more limited as well.
Wireless Cell Phone Internet: Broadband service is often available using 3G and 4G cellular signals that are commonly used by smartphones. Though not as fast as DSL or cable and expensive if you have high data usage, this option is faster than dial-up for rural customers.
Satellite Broadband: Satellite broadband service may be the only broadband service available in rural areas. The service often accompanies satellite television service and uses the same receiver for downloading. The speed is not as fast as other services, but it is still much faster than dial-up service. The main downside is the costly price tag for equipment and the service.
The advantages of a leased line are that it is dedicated, symmetric, fast and backed by guarantees.
A leased line is dedicated to your business and you don’t share the bandwidth. You get the same upload and download speed great for file sharing, VoIP and cloud applications. You are not restriced by the speed available, in fact you can get over 10Gbps if your business neds it. You’ll also get a service level agreement (SLA) guaranteeing speed, availability, packet-loss and jitter.
Dedicated means that the service is not shared. Some other broadband services are shared and slow down at busy times e.g. lunchtime. A dedicated service does not slow down if other businesses are using the internet ecessively.
You may have heard the phrase uncontended. This is a technical term which means dedicated too. The leased line is for your use only, it’s a bit like having your own road to work which you can be sure won’t have any traffic at rush hour.
Symmetric means that the service has the same upload and download speed. For example 100 Mbps upload / 100 Mbps download. Other broadband services have asymmetric properties which means the upload and download speeds are different. For example FTTP can have 80 Mbps download / 20 Mbps upload.
Symmetric bandwidth can be very useful because you can upload as fast as you can download. This means it will speed up cloud applications such as CRM, make sending large files faster, and improve VoIP call quality.
Leased lines are the fastest business broadband service you can buy. If you can afford it you can get speeds in excess of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) or 10,000 Mbps! Add to the high speed the dedicated bandwidth. This means that if you order 1 Gbps you will get 1Gbps of dedicated upload and download bandwidth for your business’ sole use.
Compare this with other shared broadband services which range from 10 Mbps to 300 Mbps download and 2Mbps to 30Mbps upload. You can see that a leased line has significantly higher speed capability than other broadband services.
All leased lines have guarantees. The guarantees are called service level agreements (SLA). The guarantees are in the contract small print and vary from provider to provider. If guarantees are not met the telecoms provider faces financial penalties, usually called service credits.
Guarantees cover speed, uptime, packet-loss, round trip time, jitter. If you’re not sure what these technical terms mean don’t worry we will be going into these terms and why they are important in more detail.
The disadvantages of a leased line are cost and flexibility.
A leased line costs anywhere between £200/month to in excess of £1000/month. The costs is far more than an ADSL, FTTC or FTTP connection. You’ll need to commit to at least a 12 month contract and if you want to avoid installation fees a 36 month contract. The leased line will take between 45 -90 working days to get installed and if you need to relocate it there will be additional charges.
Leased Line Internet Connection:
Leased lines can be used by a business to connect a single office location to the internet. Usually this is when high-speed, reliable internet access is essential to the efficient running of the business.
Point To Point Network:
Leased lines are also used to directly connect two business locations in a point to point network. This enables the two locations to connect their local area networks and form a high-speed wide area network.
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Information Brought To You By Biovolt Corporation.