Broadband versus Leased Line
Businesses often ask us to clarify the difference between broadband and leased line connections. After all, don’t they both do the same thing at the end of the day – deliver internet connectivity to your premises? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’, because while they share the same connectivity aim, the way in which they do so and the commercial and practical benefits they bring to your operations are substantially different.
First let’s begin by clarifying what we mean by broadband and leased line.
- A leased line provides a superfast internet connection to your business in one of two ways: (a) via fibre optic cables or (b) using a wireless antenna. ‘Leased’ means you rent the connection from the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- Broadband internet also gives you a high-speed internet connection, but in this case it’s delivered via either fibre-optic cables; ADSL (copper telephone lines); or, digital signals to transmit connectivity from satellites to you.
Now let’s examine the four key factors that separate lease line from broadband connections.
Connection: broadband and leased lines both connect to your business through a cable, but they get to you in radically different ways. With broadband, your internet comes via a series of cables (copper wire or fibre) that run from your local cabinet – the green box on the side of the street - to the exchange. The cables split out to many other business, so you might be sharing your broadband connection with many other nearby businesses.
With a leased line, you get a dedicated circuit that is comes directly to you, so there is no sharing and you get the same upload and download speed throughout the day and night.,
Contention: the term ‘contention’ reflects the extent to which you are competing for use of the line bringing connectivity to your premises. Broadband is contended because you share your connection with others in your immediate area. This means you are effectively fighting for the bandwidth available and this can reduce your speed at peak times.
With leased lines there is no contention. A leased line uses an uncontended network with a dedicated circuit straight to your premises and nobody can use this except you. This means your connection is consistent and won’t be slowed down by other business users in the area.
Consistent speed: both leased lines and broadband promise to deliver superfast speeds. And because a leased line uses an uncontended network, superfast speeds are exactly what you will receive.
However, broadband works on contended networks, where there is competition for use, so there is the potential for your speeds to fluctuate during the working day. Picture your commuter traffic inside a broadband line.
SLA: If your business relies on the internet to function, what happens when the Internet goes down? How long can you go without connectivity? Here at HPN, we offer a SLA, Service Level Agreement, of around 99.9% or higher on to our leased line customers. This means we guarantee that most types of faults will be fixed within a four-hour window, so that there will be minimal disruption to your business operations.
Many broadband services do not come with an SLA, and even with those that do, the fix time may run into days. Meanwhile your business is suffering the consequences of no internet. At HPN our broadband all come with level 4 care meaning quicker fixes on any faults.
We hope this clarifies the main differences around broadband versus leased line. If you would like to find out more, start by calling the High Performance Networks team today on 028 9053 8411. We’ll help you find the right network solution for your business.