Dedicated lines can seem like a big jump up from your standard ADSL or broadband, especially when it comes to price. We often speak to IT managers and business owners who don’t know if a dedicated line is what they need. So we thought we would help anyone else who has questions about getting a dedicated line.
What is a Dedicated Line?
So first things first what do people mean when they talk about dedicated lines? They are simply referring to fibre leased lines. The reason they are often referred to as dedicated lines is that with broadband, fibre to the cabinet (BT infinity) and ADSL internet services your business would be sharing the line with up to 50 other businesses.
With a dedicated line, it is only you who uses it, making it perfect for business applications that require stability like video conferencing, VoIP phone calls and EPOS payment systems. Leased Lines offer guarantees known as SLA’s (service level agreements).
Service level agreements equate to having insurance on your line. They ensure your dedicated line never goes down for at least 99.99% of the time. If your line was ever to drop below that level you start earning money back off your next bill. All ISP’s will have different SLA levels – some even have 100% SLA.
Primarily businesses will use a dedicated line to avoid public internet, some will use them to connect to data centres or run a low-cost VoIP telephone system over a stable connection. Bigger companies also often use leased lines as part of a bigger area network design, like a Wide Area Network connecting all its locations.
What are the benefits of my business switching to dedicated lines?
The benefits of having a better internet connection for your business don’t need to be listed but some benefits of having a dedicated line include:
- Faster Speeds – Dedicated lines can give you speeds from 10Mb to 10GB & allow you to scale up as your business grows.
- More Reliable – Reliability is often a key driver for most businesses making the switch to a dedicated line. They don’t go down, don’t buffer at peak times, speeds never drop & you get 24/7 proactive monitoring from your ISP to prevent any issues before they occur.
- More Secure – The privacy you get on a dedicated line makes it easier to deploy firewalls & added security & harder for hackers to get access to your network.
- Better Support – With a dedicated leased line you get proactive network monitoring from the ISP & a target fix time should anything go wrong.
Are there any disadvantages to having a dedicated line?
A faster, more reliable, more secure connection with better support does still have features some may see as a disadvantage:
- Price – A Leased line costs anything from £150pcm depending on the speed you need. 100Mb leased lines are the most popular for SME’s. Other business broadband options can start from £20 per month so it can be a big factor for smaller businesses.
- Install times – Dedicated Leased Lines take around 3 months to install so if you need a quick connection you would need a broadband option.
- Contract lengths – In general the contract length for a dedicated line is 3-5 years whereas most broadband alternatives are 12. So for anyone considering moving in the next year or two you can still get a 1 year contract for a dedicated line but it’s likely to cost you more.
How much does 100Mb Leased Line cost?
If you are looking for a dedicated line the price you pay will depend on your location. 100Mb leased lines cost £170 per month in some locations but in others can be over £500 per month in others.
Another big factor in pricing is what ISP you use. BT business, Virgin media business & TalkTalk business are not the only ones available and not always the best value.
The best way to know you are getting the right price is by doing a leased line comparison. If you have any other products or services you can add in like VoIP, firewalls or cloud services it can help reduce the cost even further.