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Ultimate Guide to Leased Lines

Stream - The digital backbone to your business

The Ultimate Guide to Leased Lines

If you’re looking for a reliable, efficient Internet connection, 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 dedicated Internet access solution and to decide whether it is right for your business.

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What is a dedicated leased line?

Put relatively simply, a leased line provides a dedicated fibre connection directly to your business premises. The data connection is dedicated to your business, you don’t share it with anyone else unlike a broadband connection where you can share it with other users at peak times. A leased line also provides a better Service Level Agreement over a standard broadband line ensuring a guaranteed response to service outage and guarantees over speeds and latency.

Benefits of a Leased Line

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

5. Scalable

Packages range from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps 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 or as part of a wide area network deployment to connect multiple offices together securely in to an MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) or SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network).

How does a leased line compare to other broadband options?

leased line is a dedicated, uncontended fibre optic connection with guarantees around speed and uptime where business broadband is often contended and has less guarantees around the speed and service metrics.

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 is a dedicated connection. Nobody else can 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. Read our blog on a full explanation of broadband vs leased line

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

Connection Speed Summary

ADSL Broadband
– up to 24 Mbps Download 2.5 Mbps upload.

FTTC 40 (Fibre to the Curb) – up to 40 Mbps Download 10Mbps upload.

FTTC 80 (Fibre to the Curb) – up to 80 Mbps Download 20 Mbps upload.

GFAST – up to 330 Mbps download 50 Mbps upload.

FTTP and Full Fibre Broadband (Fibre to the Premises) up to 1Gbs Download 250 Mbps download.

Leased Lines – up to 10Gbs Symmetric speeds.

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. Leased Lines can support a business with the UK’s PSTN Switch Off / Analogue phone switch off guaranteeing a level of service for your digital voice and unified communications.

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 1Gbps leased line you receive 1Gbps download and 1Gbps 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 1Gbps 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 10,000MbsUp to 20Mbs
Typical download speedUp to 10,000MbsUp to 13Mbs

How much does a leased line cost?

Leased Line pricing can vary depending on how far your premises is from a leased line POP (Point of Prescence) or network node. The further you are away from a POP the more expensive the leased line can cost.

We work with more than 30 fibre leased line providers to ensure our prices are amongst the best in the leased line market. With leased line pricing starting from £149 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 costs.

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 a dedicated leased line 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 provide 4G, ADSL, FTTC and Full Fibre broadband back-up services 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 Networks as your Leased Line Internet Service Provider?

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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