Can 100Mb broadband replace 100Mb Leased Line?
Recent years have given up some great advancements for broadband speeds in the UK. The government scheme has helped more fibre be installed throughout the country and the average download speed is now 54.2Mbps, which is a good increase compared to 5 years ago where it was just 22.8Mbps.
This is largely due to the amount of fibre optic broadband connections in place and I would expect it to increase more over the next few years too. As a nation we are using and relying on the internet more than ever before& businesses are no exception to this.
Epos till systems, VoIP phones, video conferencing, CRM system, cloud storage are all integral part of many business operations and all require a stable and reliable internet connection to run effectively. Leased Lines have been a solution for years, but with the increased availability of fibre broadband services the speeds you can get on broadband now can be up to a staggering 1gb!
While this does, of course, come as great news to many businesses who may have been struggling with slow broadand speeds, for some this still isn’t the solution they’ve been looking for. Even with a 100Mbps broadband connection, there are still a few lingering concerns:
The first concern is that while this may well be an excellent 100Mb fibre connection, it is still a broadband connection at the end of the day. This means that the connection will still share the same restrictions and limitations of slower broadband connections.
This includes potential downtime due to factors beyond your control, and bandwidth sharing across multiple users and even multiple companies, which can cause down time, buffering and mean you get a speed much less than the expected 100Mb fibre package.
With 100Mbps Leased Line you get service level agreement which guarantees your speed, so if you choose a 100Mb line & you don’t get that you earn money back. You would also get a QoS (quality of service) on leased lines which you won’t get on any broadband deals.
Broadband is often seen as a cost effective way for businesses to get internet access. It can be if you don’t need to use or rely on the internet. Leased line costs are a bit higher on the monthly rental but when you work out how much time you loose on a broadband connection they can actually save you money by having an Ethernet circuit.
During the past few months, Ofcom have been on a mission to educate businesses about the ‘speed gap’; the discrepancies that occur between an internet service provider’s advertised speeds, and the speeds that will actually be received at the premises.
A 100Mbps broadband connection means that the line is capable of carrying 100Mbps, and may not be indicative of the actual speed of your connection. Your download speeds will often be much worse than your upload too, which can be a real problem for businesses who send files or have to use cloud based applications.
A further concern is latency. Latency refers to the delay between a command being given, and a response being received, with lower latency being preferred. A 100Mbps fibre broadband connection may have relatively high latency, which can cause problems for some industries.
This is especially true for financial traders whose tasks are very time sensitive. Faster speed doesn’t always mean lower latency.
Broadband services that offer high bandwidth but have high latency will make users feel like they are on a slow line. Combine poor latency with the broadband line being shared and dropping out at peak times of the day, a 100Mb leased line in comparison can feel around 20 times faster to the end user.
The contract for business broadband is usually a 12 month contract, whereas leased lines standard contract is 36 months. However, you can still get a leased line on a 12 month contract but there would usually be an install cost applied. You can reduce this by taking advantage of the governments voucher scheme.
However some FTTC broadband connections are now offer a 24 month broadband package now as standard & if you get a FTTPoD broadband you will likely have a 36 month contract as standard, as well as some hefty instalation costs. Leased Lines don’t come with install costs unless ECC’s are identified after the site survey is performed. Its rare but should this ever occur you have the right to cancel your contract.
A 100Mb broadband connection is very good, and should theoretically suit most businesses, even those with greater needs, but the above concerns do make the reality of this less exciting that it seems. Although there is technically little difference between a 100Mb broadband and a 100Mb Leased Line connection, there is a significant difference when you compare the realities of 100Mbps fibre broadband to a fast, guaranteed 100Mbps leased line.
A 100Mbps leased line provides exactly what it says: 100Mbps down, and 100Mbps up stable and secure internet connection. As this is a dedicated connection between a business and the leased line ISP, there is no bandwidth sharing, unmatched uptime, and ultra low latency suitable for any industry or sector. So while a 22Mbps difference may not seem much, when you delve deeper a 100Mbps leased line is the clear winner.
Business Broadband support has a poor reputation when compared to leased line support. Leased Lines are pro-actively monitored 24/7 by the provider. Often you can get through to support on their phone line within minutes, even on weekend calls. This enables them to fix any faults before they arise and it comes with the Service Level Agreement which is a guarantee that the line will be “always-on” and should anything ocur there will be fix time targets, typically 4-6 hours.
As for broadband the support is much more reactive & although they will always try to resolve faults quickly there are no timescales for this. We have known customers who have been without a connection for weeks on end waiting for a fault to be fixed. If these businesses have no back up in place this can be detrimental to their operation.
How much does 100Mb Leased Line Cost?
The main factor that has prohibited companies from being on a leased line usually comes down to the price. Years ago 100Mb leased lines could be between £800-£1000 per month! However, thankfully leased line prices have dropped significantly and many businesses can also save up £2500 off any install costs at the moment with the government voucher scheme.
The cost of a leased line will always depend on where you are located and what provider you have had quotes from. Virgin Media, BT & TalkTalk are the three main providers of fibre but they each have hundreds of re-sellers. These re-sellers by at a wholesale price which is usually discounted based on amount of business they do.
These providers often give a better service, the same product but up to 45% cheaper than a direct quote would be. Its a no-brainer to consider them if you are looking at leased line quotes.
The average price of 100Mb Leased line is usually between £180 – £400 per month for most companies. What many business owners don’t realise is the telecoms industry is pretty open for negotiation when it comes to price. In our years comparing prices for leased lines we have learnt some great tips that can help you get the best leased line costs.
How much does 100Mb broadband cost?
To actually get 100Mb broadband you probably need to look at a 300Mb+ fibre broadband options or Fibre to the premises/on demand (FTTP/FTTPod). Depending on the options available at your location, providers special offers and length of contract will depend on your costs.
For th 300Mb + broadband which will hopefully give you the actual speeds of 100Mb prices are generally between £35 a month and £90 a month. This will depend on providers in your area and the time you buy. If you are not in a rush its worth keeping an eye on Virgins offers, which can be very competitive. Alternatively, run a business broadband comparison to see the whole market.
Should you choose FTTPod this will give you better speeds and a lower contention ratio which means more stability. It also comes with a high install cost in most cases and you are then looking at a 36 month contract. This is usually available if your local cabinet is not FTTC enabled. Some people find because of the costs associated its often worth considering a leased line to get a better service.
Is an Internet speed of 100Mbps considered fast?
- Business Use – What the business needs to use the line for is the most important point. If you are just generally browsing, checking e-mails and use VoIP phones 100Mb should be fine – unless you have thousands of employees. However, if you are data heavy users of the internet with multiple cloud based applications and you need to upload data heavy files you may struggle on broadband.
- Number of users – The more users on the line the less you will get so if you have 100Mb broadband line and 50 users each would get say 2Mb but that’s before you consider the sharing of that line between other users in the area too. The more users you have the less reliable a broadband connection is likely to be.
- Location, Location, Location – Its not just a day time TV show. Its one of the most important factors. As much as fibre broadband is increasing in its availability, its still not everywhere in the UK. So some of you may only be able to get 20Mb on broadband and have to look at other options like a dedicated leased line.
What speed Leased Line do I need?