FTTP vs Leased Lines
If you’re looking for super-fast internet access for your business, then there’s only two options that will satisfy your need for speed: fibre to the premises (FTTP) and a fibre leased line. Although these are two separate and distinct data connectivity services, there’s a lot of similarities so how to decide the optimal connection for your business?
Firstly, lets look at how each service is deployed. Leased Lines are fibre optic cables going directly from the exchange point to your premises. Whereas, with FTTP a fibre optic will come from the exchange point, to your local roadside cabinet. From there another fibre cable will run into your business.
Businesses get higher speeds on FTTP and Leased Lines compared to FTTC. The typical speeds range from 20Mbps right up to 1GB. There’s also the fact both services involve some level of work, as, unlike traditional internet service which are delivered across a phone line, both leased lines and fibre to the premises are delivered directly to the business. This can make them more costly initially, although monthly fees are significantly dropping as there continues to be a higher demand for these services.
Whenever you research FTTP you are likely to see Fibre To the premises on demand (FTTPoD or fttp on demand). Physically the two are identical to FTTP. It comes down to whats available at your cabinet.
If your address can already get Fibre to the cabinet FTTC, then its likely FTTPoD will be offered. This where you pay a large chunk of the costs to run the fibre to your home, and can usually only order a 330 Mbps service on a three year contract.
When you arrange for high speed internet connectivity like FTTP, the rate you pay will be for a guaranteed connection speed, not a guaranteed received speed. With FTTP, there will always, at some point along the cable, be other premises that are sharing that bandwidth, so while FTTP is often very good in terms of download and upload speeds, it’s not always that reliable. With a 20Mbps service, you won’t receive this all the time. Leased lines are different; they are dedicated to your business and your business alone, which means that the speed you pay for is the speed you’ll receive. Also, speeds for FTTP are asymmetrical, whereas Leased Line have symmetric upload and download speeds.
As explained above, with FTTP you will be sharing you line with other premises. For example, at peak times if there are 50 other businesses sharing your line, the contention ratio is 50/1. Whereas, with Leased Line there is no contention ratio as you’re the only user on the line. This alone can cause broadband and leased lines to have noticeable differences in the quality of broadband connectivity.
There’s a massive price different between Leased Line quotes and FTTP. FTTP (depending on provider) will range from around £30-£60+, depending on the speed you choose. Leased Line start from around £150 per month for the lower bandwidths. The price can also go up depending on ow far you are from the exchange, and if you receive any ECC’s (Excess Construction Charges).Installation costs are usually free for leased lines and fibre broadband unless its ECC’s or FTTPoD where you may incur build charges and a distance based charge.
Both services will have an SLA (Service Level Agreement). The only difference is that Leased Line SLA is more in depth. Such as, the standard fix time for FTTP is around 2 days, whereas the standard fix time for Leased Lines is usually with 5 hours. Other factors on a Leased Line SLA is speed. If you don’t receive a certain speed you could be entitled to compensation from the internet service provider, whereas this isn’t a standard feature for FTTP.
Ethernet Leased Lines are extremely reliable and guaranteed to never go down. Whereas, with Fibre to the premises the line can sometimes lower in speed or drop out completely. The contention ratio is usually what causes these service quality failures and if applicable will be noticed most at peak times when other users are online.
Leased Lines are available to 100% of the UK, it’s just depended on if you can afford it. The more rural you are the more expensive it’ll be. FTTP is available to around 94% of the UK, but Open reach are planning to make it available to 4 million more homes by 2021.
Leased Lines can take 60-90 working days to be installed. FTTP only takes around 10-15 working days.
Leased Line contract terms are either 12 months, 36 months, or 60 months. Whereas FTTP is normally 12 months, 18 months, or 24 months. If you choose to go for a 12 month contract on Leased Lines, you’ll have to pay a hefty install charge. Whereas with FTTP the install is normally free.
Which is Better?
Technically speaking, leased lines are the best type of internet connectivity, but that’s not to say that FTTP doesn’t deserve its place in the business internet rankings. What FTTP does is essentially bridge the gap between standard consumer-grade services and comprehensive business-grade connections, and it works well for companies who want fast internet but don’t require the full guarantees that come with a leased line.
For those who do require a little more, leased line products feature good service level agreements (SLAs), which provide peace of mind that your internet service provider will do what it takes to ensure your service continues to be fast and reliable, minimising downtime and reducing disruptions.
How to get the best Leased Line or FTTP Price
Leased Lines can be a pricey venture, but it’s ultimately worth the cost. Firstly, you need to figure out what your requirements are. The factors you need to weigh up is speed you require, the distance you are from the exchange point, how rural you are, if there will be any ECC’s which will put the price up massively (you wont know this until a site survey is done) etc.
Another factor that could also lower the price is the Government Voucher Scheme. The Government will give you a £2,500 grant towards a Leased Line, you must meet a few requirements though.
Once you’ve figure this out, you’ll need to go to every provider directly and explain your requirements. Once you’ve received your quotes, you’ll have to go through the lengthy process of comparing every quote to see the best.
You could avoid this headache by getting an impartial and free comparison done with us. All you have to do is fill out one of our forms and wait for a call from one of our helpful advisers. They will go over your requirements and put you in touch with the cheapest providers in your area.