When you’re looking for a new Internet solution, you will probably be faced with lots of broadband packages and solutions.
Business broadband with unlimited downloads… Business broadband with a 38Mbps connection… Fibre broadband or traditional Broadband… But what’s the best solution?
Something you might also come across when searching for a new Internet solution is leased line. The first thing you might notice when you do come across leased line is a considerably higher price tag! But actually, there are justified reasons for such a price tag!
But what is the difference between broadband and leased line?
1) The Connection
Broadband and leased lines connect to your business premises in different ways. They both still come through a cable, but the difference is to do with how they get to you.
When you take out a broadband package, you are getting your Internet from the local cabinet, you may have seen it, it’s usually a green box on the side of the street. From that green box, there is a copper-wire connection to your premises delivering your Internet. From the cabinet to the exchange, there is either a copper wire or fibre that delivers the Internet. So it is a series of cables that bring you the Internet.
The difference lies with how that cable is split between all of the other local premises getting broadband. You might be sharing that wire with the five businesses next to you. With a leased line, you get a dedicated circuit that is only coming to you. No sharing!
2) No Contention and Consistent Speeds
With broadband, because you are sharing that cable with anyone else who is using broadband, you are effectively fighting for the speed available. If that is a 38Mbps or even 76Mbps connection, your speed will depend on how many other people are using the broadband at the same time.
You might think, great, I’ve got this new Business Broadband with a 38Mbps connection over fibre optic and unlimited downloads… but realistically at peak time, you might only be getting a couple of meg because everyone else is also using their unlimited downloads.
Think of it like this – there is a well full of water in a village. The capacity of the well is 40 litres, so technically, there is 40 litres available to you. But, when you have 20 people all taking from the well, there is only actually enough for 2 litres each – it works in the same way for broadband.
With a leased line, however, because it is a dedicated circuit to your premises, there is no contention with others. You might decide to only take a 10Mbps line, but you have the knowledge that you will get the full 10Mbps. With some providers, you can even get up to a few Gbps. It’s more like having a private well in the garden where all of the water is yours.
3) Reliability and Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
When it comes to business Internet in this day and age, no one wants a lousy connection. If you work primarily with the use of the Internet, what happens when the Internet goes down? How long can you go without the Internet?
For most people, even a day without it is too much, so when you get told by your broadband provider that it won’t be fixed for three days, what do you do?
The first thing you might do is complain and say that it is within their right to fix it. But when you first took out the contract, how much attention did you pay to the Service Level Agreements? Some broadband providers don’t really use SLAs but as part of their terms of service say it will be fixed as soon as possible but you might have to wait up to a few days.
You might only be paying £50 a month for your business broadband, so why would you expect the Internet to be fixed on that same day?
With leased lines, you can expect better reliability and strong SLAs. Where it might take three days to fix a broadband issue, with leased line, you might get a fix within 4 hours!
Of course it depends on the problem, but with leased line, you can expect a much better and faster service when something does go wrong and great reliability in the first place.
So a leased line may have a much heftier price tag, but when you look at the 3 key differences that are; the connection, speed and contention and the reliability and Service Level Agreements, you can understand why.
When considering a new Internet solution, it’s always worth weighing up what you actually need and whether you need amazing Internet, but if you do rely on it for all of your business, then a leased line is a good option!
As for business broadband, it is important when looking into it to consider the options and make sure you pick a solution that might offer some form of a Service Level Agreement.