Cheap Leased Lines for Rural Businesses
Businesses located outside of the UK’s major cities and towns may struggle more with internet speeds and business broadband availability than their urban counterparts. In some cases, a leased line may prove to be the only suitable option, but how much does a leased line cost in a more rural setting?
As with business broadband, a leased line will typically cost more for businesses located in rural areas. This is because there may not be an existing high capacity data network to connect to, or there may not be space within any existing networks to allow for a further connection. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a leased line for a rural business is costly. In fact, they may be very cost effective.
Leased Line Price Drops
If you’ve been keeping tabs on leased line prices over the years, then you’ll probably already know that leased line prices have been dropping significantly. It also doesn’t hurt that Ofcom have recently instructed BT Openreach to reduce their leased line prices (and speed up installation time, too!). But what you might not know is that leased line prices for rural businesses have been dropping quicker .
Reports show that within a 3 year period, 2mbps leased line prices in the European Union dropped by 18% for businesses utilising ‘local networks’ within 1.2 miles. Within 31 miles, prices dropped by a larger percentage – 28% – and for networks within and up to 124 miles, prices dropped by a whopping 32%.
Both rural businesses and city-based enterprises can reasonably expect more positive changes to leased line prices in the near future. Based on Ofcom’s guidelines, leased line products providing up to 1Gbits in upload and download speeds must drop over the next 3 years in line with the consumer price index (CPI). The formula used for these high speed products to determine pricing is set between CPI – 9.75% and CPI – 17.75%, with an overall estimate of CPI – 13.75%. Prices began dropping in April of 2016.
What This Means for Rural Businesses
Overall, these price drops are helping to make leased lines more affordable and ultimately more accessible to those businesses who really need it most. While many small businesses in city centres may be able to reasonably get by using superfast business broadband, these fibre services aren’t always available in rural areas that do not have access to a fibre-enabled exchange. Leased lines are becoming a must-have for many companies, and these price reductions are helping us all to get the speeds we need.
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