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Leased Line Installation Process

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How long does it take to install and what is the leased line installation process?

This guide intends to take you through the leased line installation process. It aims to give you the information you need to understand on each phase of a leased line installation and details some of the processes required to install a leased line service.

What is a leased line?

A leased line is a dedicated fibre optic, high-speed circuit that connects your premises to an Internet Service Provider if being used as an Internet connection or directly between two locations if you plan to use a leased line as a point-to-point connection to connect two offices into a private network.

Typically leased lines are used by businesses that want gigabit speeds and rely on VOIP phone systems, cloud services, or have VPN’s where symmetrical speeds,  low latency connectivity, uptime and service level agreement are key to good telecoms, application, and business performance.

A dedicated leased line comes in various bandwidths providing symmetrical upload speeds and download speeds from 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps and 10Gbps.  A leased line unlike ADSL broadband or Fibre broadband also provides uncontended bandwidth meaning that the bandwidth you contract to is not shared with other users on the network.

In the UK the underlying fibre optic infrastructure for a leased line service is normally provisioned by Openreach as they run most of the UK’s copper and fibre infrastructure on which a leased line connection uses.  Some alternative providers own fibre optic cables such as Virgin Media, KCom and a growing number of new full-fibre providers such as CityFibre however these altnet providers networks only cover certain geographical areas in the UK where Openreach cover the whole of the United Kingdom.  If you know where your local telephone exchange is or have seen the green street cabinets these are run and managed by Openreach so this guide concentrates on Leased Line Installation using Openreach fibre.

Leased line costs depend on how far your postcode and premises are from the local telephone exchange so your Internet Service Provider with price your dedicated connection on the overall length of the fibre optic cable.

What is the normal lead time for a Leased Line Installation?

Leased Lines are normally delivered within 75 working days from the date you place the order with your Internet Service Provider although this time frame can be as little as 15 working days if fibre is already in your premises. On the other hand, if fibre is not already present on your premises your installation can take much longer and in some cases over 75 working days. This depends on how complex it is to provision the new circuit and can also be affected by planning restrictions, for example where the fibre needs to cross a busy road.  We cover some of these issues later in this blog.

Leased Line Order Acceptance

Once your order has been placed with your Internet Service Provider or point to point leased line provider and accepted by the ISP provisioning team, they will then place the order with Openreach.

Typically, your ISP will email you within 24-48 hours to confirm that the order has been accepted and placed with Openreach.

Once the order has been placed within five working days we would expect to receive an order ID and circuit reference number, this is normally referred to as a ONEA reference.

It is important to keep a note of this reference as during the planning and installation stage of a leased line installation you may need it when discussing the work with the leased line planners and installation engineers.

Once your order has been accepted and a ONEA or Circuit Reference has been issued your order will now move into the official planning stage.

Leased Line Planning & Survey Stage

Once the leased line order has been accepted by Openreach a series of planning activities that relate to your leased line circuit take placed which include verifying network information and capacities, planning fibre runs and routes, as well as locating any existing fibre that may already be present in your premises. 

Once the initial planning activities have taken place a survey is then undertaken by the planning team, which may be purely desk-based known as a desktop survey, however, if something is flagged within a desktop survey an on‐site survey may be required, at which point you’ll be contacted to arrange a date for a planner to survey the route to your premises. 

Please be aware that on some occasions Openreach may contact you directly (this is where knowing the ONEA reference number is useful) to arrange access and to arrange the site survey.

Typically, site surveys are completed within 25 working days of placing your order with your ISP however Stream Networks normally complete this work within 15 working days.

Once the ISP has the survey results back from Openreach they will be able to advise whether any excess construction charges, wayleaves, or any other restrictions apply to the order and confirm a Committed Delivery Date.

What are excess construction charges during the leased line Installation process?

During the initial survey, it may be discovered that additional work is required to deliver the service

This is typically seen where fibre is not present at the customer site and requires a new fibre to be installed. The excess construction charges can include digging new trenches, paying for ducting or manholes and the time it takes to provision the new fibre. 

After the site survey is completed, your ISP will confirm with you if any excess construction charges apply which may affect your installation cost and if they have been identified tell you what they are and what the excess costs are. At this point as a customer if excess charges have been identified you are no longer under obligation to proceed with the installation unless you accept the additional costs and should be able to cancel the installation without costs although some ISP’s may charge you for the site survey. You must check the small print on your contract before ordering to ensure you understand your ISP’s terms.

What is a Leased Line Wayleave?

A “wayleave” is the written legal consent between the underlying fibre provider (Openreach, Virgin Media, CityFibre) and the landlord of the premises or land you occupy which confirms the right for the fibre provider to install, maintain, adjust, and repair apparatus within the related property and associated boundaries. No utility has the right to enter upon private land without obtaining prior consent. If they do so it will constitute trespass and can result in legal action. Consent therefore must be obtained before entering private property.

When is a Wayleave required?

A wayleave is typically required when there is no existing telecommunications or duct infrastructure within the customer premises.  Openreach in most cases has existing infrastructure into premises in the UK, however, if the premises you occupy is a new build where no infrastructure exists or where you are using a new altnet and they can’t use the existing Openreach duct a wayleave maybe required.

How long does a leased line Wayleave take to agree?

As this is a legal document it is agreed between the underlying fibre carrier’s solicitors and the landlords’ solicitors and as such it may require both the customer and ISP to continue to chase both ends of the chain to complete the legal documentation. Wayleaves can affect the installation times, In some cases, wayleaves can be agreed in a matter of weeks in other cases it can take months, all dependent on how quickly the parties involved respond and how complex the wayleave is.

What is a leased line fit and test?

Once any barriers to installation have been completed and the fibre had been delivered to the premises a fit and test will be booked in. On the Fit and Test date engineers will attend the site and will fit the appropriate termination equipment as well as finish off the fibre connection. They will then perform a test of the service back to the main network and will ensure that everything is working as expected. On the odd occasion, the fit and test may fail. Where this happens, the carrier will take out corrective work as soon as possible, however, it may be necessary to re‐appoint the fit and test and your ISP should inform you if this happens.

What is a Leased Line Handover?

Once the fit and test have been completed Openreach or the altnet fibre provider will hand over the circuit to the Internet Service Provider. Further work will then take place on the ISP network to ensure the leased line is connected correctly and any IP addresses are assigned to the leased line.   The leased line handover can take up to 10 working days from the Fit and Test completion however Stream Networks normally aim to complete this process within 48 hours.

Once handover has been completed you will need to connect your leased line to a router or firewall to terminate the connection and connect you to the network.  Most ISP’s will provide a router or Firewall to terminate the connection as an ethernet service to your Local Area Network.

If you want to find out further information on the leased line installation process or require a leased line quote please visit our leased line page or call 01635 884170 to speak to a member of our sales team.

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