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Ultimate Guide to Leased Lines

Stream - The digital backbone to your business

If you’re looking for a reliable, efficient internet connection for your broadband, a leased line could be the solution. But what exactly is a leased line and how could it benefit your business?

This Stream Networks Ultimate Guide to Leased Lines will help you to understand this broadband solution and to decide whether it is right for your business.

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What is a leased line?

Put relatively simply, a leased line provides a dedicated fibre ethernet connection directly to your business premises. That data connection is all yours. You don’t share it with anyone else. That means that you have all that bandwidth to play with exclusively.

The 6 types of leased lines

1. Dedicated

As the fibre optic leased line is only serving you and your business, you’ll be guaranteed high speed broadband even at peak times.

2. Symmetrical

You can expect the same decent download speed as well as upload speed. That symmetrical speed is a real bonus for businesses dealing with big data files.

3. Low latency

Cloud-based services like VOIP and video will work without delays. Imagine that, video and audio that performs smoothly every time.

4. Uncontended

Your exclusive fibre broadband leased line enables your business to run multiple applications and connect to your various remote locations seamlessly.

5. Scalable

Packages range from 100mbps to 10gbps internet access. You can choose the best line service for your business. You may even need more than one leased line.

6. Private

Your fibre optic leased line can be used as a point-to-point connection to join two offices into a private network.

How does a leased line compare to other broadband options?

An internet connection goes from point to point. That means that it connects two things, say your business and your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Regular home or business broadband is delivered point to point, but it is shared. That means you will notice the effect on online speed when many people in your local area are making demands on broadband at one time. At peak times, you’ll notice that the internet takes longer to load, services like video may be slow or interrupted and downloads can take (what feels like) forever.

A Stream Networks leased line uses a fibre ethernet broadband connection. That’s the same as a traditional broadband connection. The major difference is that the line is leased to you alone. It’s a dedicated connection. Nobody else is able to use that line. All the bandwidth is for your exclusive use. That means the contention ratio is only one, whereas with other broadband solutions, it will be much higher.

Whilst FTTC, FTTP, ADSL or business broadband can be unlimited and high bandwidth, it will be shared by others. For uncontended internet access, a leased line is the solution.

Typical, traditional broadband connections will have download speeds of 100mbps or less. Our leased line broadband speeds go up to 10 gbs.

Leased lines diagram between the internet and business premises.

How will it help your business?

Reliability – lack of downtime. In fact, we guarantee 99.9% uptime. ADSL back-up gives an alternative circuit in the unlikely event of a primary circuit failure.

Cost-effective – we work with more than 30 fibre networks. That gives us access to the best broadband solutions at competitive prices. Our packages are scalable, so you can choose the service that meets your business’ needs.

High speeds – experience quality broadband connections, plus impressive symmetrical upload and download times.

Security assurance – the threat of cyber attacks is reduced massively with our constant protection via DDoS Scrubbing.

24/7 support – our helpful team is on hand to solve issues that may arise. Speak to them any time – no chatbots, lengthy wait times or call back promises.

Low latency – businesses have high demands. You need to run multiple cloud-based applications, transfer huge data files and connect remote locations. A leased line will enable that to all run simultaneously and efficiently.

Quality connections – businesses with multiple remote sites, plus hybrid working, can all connect simultaneously to share files and communicate easily and frictionlessly via leased line connections.

Which businesses benefit the most from a leased line?

All businesses can benefit from leased lines as usage is unlimited. So if you really need to utilise your bandwidth with some ‘heavy usage’, a leased line would be ideal. Other broadband offerings often have monthly limits on usage.

Does your business…

  • Operate across multiple locations?
  • Work with heavy data files?
  • Use internet-based telephony (such as VOIP)?
  • Transfer large files like video via FTP?
  • Rely on online data files operationally?
  • Utilise multiple cloud-based applications?

All of these criteria will work faster and more reliably with a leased line connection than with wifi or business broadband. It’s not just about high speed broadband. A leased line provides reliable connectivity, it’s secure and it supports heavy usage across multiple locations. This makes it especially perfect for financial firms and the education sector.

Are leased lines the right option for us?

There are several factors you need to consider when deciding if a leased line is the right option for you.

Can you afford downtime?

One of the main benefits of a leased line is the Service Level Agreement. A leased line SLA is normally a 4 hour fix to a major service outage. This means if something breaks your service provider will send out an engineer to fix the issue within 4 hours of the fault being reported.

With other services such as broadband, the standard SLA is a 48 hour fix for a major service outage.

If you can’t afford the potential of 48 hours or more of downtime then you should seriously consider a leased line.

Are you using latency sensitive applications?

A latency sensitive application is something you depend on that uses real time communications.  Typical latency sensitive applications are VOIP phone systems, Video Calling and Remote Desktop connections.

If you run these types of applications on a high latency connection you may find that your Internet telephone calls have delay, your video calls buffer or your connection to your remote desktop or remote computer are very slow.

A leased line offers low latency connectivity with an SLA where services such as broadband or mobile as standard are higher latency connections without SLA’s.

Do you upload lots of data, use a cloud back-up service or have remote workers?

If you upload lots of data, use cloud back-up to back-up servers and PC’s or have lots of remote workers then having an internet connection with a good upload speed is a must. A leased line provides symmetric bandwidth where the upload speed is the same as the download speed. If you contract to a 1Gbs leased line you receive 1Gbs download and 1Gbs upload. A broadband service is typically an asymmetric service where the upload is less than the contracted download speed. For example on a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connection, the maximum service speed is 1Gbs download 300Mbs upload.

If you are backing up, uploading large files daily or have remote workers a leased line is the right choice for your organisation.

If you are offering professional services from an office a leased line will certainly be for you. From the public sector to not for profits, keeping your staff as productive as possible with a fast internet connection is a must.

Leased lineNormal Broadband (ADSL)
SpeedUp to 10,000MbUp to 20Mb
Typical download speedUp to 100MbUp to 13Mb

How much does a leased line cost?

We work with more than 30 fibre leased line providers to secure the best deals for you. Our leased lines start from £167 per month for 100mbps, scaling up to around £995 per month for 10gbps.

Ultimately, the cost of a leased line depends on the distance of your postcode (and premises) from the local telephone exchange. It’s all down to the length of fibre optic cable required.

Our leased line package details.
Our leased line costs

Included in your package:

  • Managed Juniper SRX router
  • IP addresses
  • Unlimited, uncontended bandwidth
  • ADSL/ FTTC business broadband back-up
  • UK support
  • 6-hour fix SLA

Is the leased line service available in my area?

Enter your business postcode to check the availability of our leased line service in your area of the UK. Whether you’re a large, global company or a small business, we can provide the broadband service to meet your business’ needs.

What level of support is available?

Our friendly team is on hand to support you 24/7/365. We’ll ensure you stay connected and we’ll answer your questions promptly.

Consult our Network Status page or Cascade Portal for live information. Ask a quick question via whatsapp. Contact our helpful support team on the phone or log a request online. Then there’s the knowledge base – a wealth of information available on our website.

A list of support services for leased lines.
Our leased line support services.

What happens if something goes wrong?

We monitor systems proactively which reduces the risk of issues arising. In the unlikely event of a major system failure, we’ll get an engineer out to the site within six hours.

We provide an enhanced service level agreement (SLA) on our fibre ethernet leased lines. That ensures a constant service, 99.9% uptime. We have ADSL back-up to provide a secondary circuit service if the primary circuit fails. Plus, we guarantee fast fix times.

How long will a leased line installation take?

A leased line needs to be installed in your premises. The timescale is dependent on various factors, such as whether there’s already a fibre connection at the building.

90% of our circuits are delivered within 35 working days. Keep that lead time in mind when planning the project. Be aware that some installations will take 75 days or more, others can be as little as 15 days.

We provide a dedicated project manager to ensure you’re connected as swiftly as possible. Our portal Cascade will keep you informed of the project status. It has live updates, so you’ll be aware of what’s happening.

The installation process consists of:

  • Leased line order acceptance – your order is placed with your ISP and they connect Openreach (who own the majority of the lines). You should get a confirmation email within 48 hours. A few days later you’ll get an order ID and circuit reference number (also called ONEA reference).
  • Planning  – these activities go on in the background. It includes verifying network details and capacities, planning routes for fibre and checking for any fibre that exists currently at your premises.
  • Survey – this can be done remotely or on-site. We aim to conduct site surveys within 15 working days of your order being placed. The survey will determine whether any additional construction costs, wayleaves or restrictions need to be applied.
  • Construction – the survey may determine that additional work needs to be undertaken to install the line. This is typical when there isn’t an existing line at the premises. Excess construction charges occur if trenches need to be dug, manholes added and so on. At this point, you’ll be informed of these costs and you can decide whether to proceed or not.
  • Wayleave – this is the written legal consent between the landlord of your business premises or land and the fibre provider (Openreach, Virgin Media or CityFibre). Typically, it is required when there isn’t existing infrastructure. If wayleave is required, it can add weeks or months to the project timescale. It is dependent on solicitors working together to define the agreement.
  • Fit and test – once the boxes above have been ticked and the fibre’s delivered to the premises, installation can start. You’ll be contacted to book a fit and test date. On that day, engineers will complete the fibre connection, fit the termination equipment and conduct tests.
  • Handover – the next stage is when Openreach hands over the circuit to your ISP. They’ll establish IP addresses and complete the set up. We aim to complete this within 48 hours, although it can take up to 10 days.
  • Connection – the final task is to connect your line to the router or firewall to terminate the connection.

What if your requirements change?

Are you worried about future-proofing your business? If your business expands or you need to handle more data for example, we can support you with that. It could be that you need an additional leased line to accommodate your increased data demands. Alternatively, it may be that you need to upgrade your broadband package.

Speak to us and we can find the next level of provision to meet your changing requirements. 

Why choose Stream for leased lines?

Stream Networks has been supporting businesses since 2007. Our aim has always been to deliver exemplary network security, to increase business resilience and to provide a clear return on investment.

We pride ourselves in our exceptional customer care. You are our priority.

We offer business solutions encompassing SD-WAN, MPLS & VPLS private networks, direct Internet access, IoT MOBILE solutions, and also cloud telephony, security and enterprise cloud computing.

We are incredibly experienced in business communications. We’re here to help your business thrive. 

When business needs to connect, it connects with us first.

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