Leased lines are starting to become a much more attractive choice for many businesses in the UK, especially as the installation and subscription charges are beginning to drop. There are now many different providers offering cheap leased lines, but there’s still one very big issue that’s proven to be a major deterrent: installation time. Unfortunately, due to cheap leased lines being quite complex, installation isn’t quite as speedy as it is for business broadband, for example. However, under new Ofcom terms, providers such as BT will now be required to minimise any installation delays.
Back in 2011, the average time to install a cheap leased line for a growing business was just 40 days, meaning that businesses were able to take advantage of all the benefits of a dedicated, 1:1 connection within just a few weeks of purchase. Today, however, BT are reported to take an average of 48 days, citing street works and difficulty accessing the premises as two of the main reasons for delays. Less than 80 percent of cheap leased lines are being delivered by the date promised. So what’s going wrong?
According to Ofcom, there’s nothing wrong. Quite simply, providers such as BT should not be taking so long to install cheap leased lines for businesses in the UK. Ofcom has now proposed new terms, meaning that BT, and other providers utilising BT’s network, will need to reduce their average installation time for cheap leased lines to 46 days by March 2017, and back to 40 days by 2018. This is certainly good news for businesses, who will need to wait less to enjoy all the advantages of a cheap leased line, including:
Symmetrical upload and download speeds to facilitate voIP and cloud computing
A dedicated connection that’s unaffected by number of users or peak times
A guaranteed speed that’s designed to meet the growing needs of the company
Ultra low latency to ensure business are able to quickly grab opportunities as they arise
Improvements to installation times isn’t the only change that we can expect to see in the leased line world in the coming years, either. Ofcom have also announced that they are imposing restrictions on fix time, which means that BT and other cheap leased line providers will be required to fix 94 percent of line faults within just 5 hours, minimising disruption to businesses and ensuring value for money.
With these exciting changes on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to start to compare cheap leased lines to find a provider, and a contract, that suits you and facilitates ongoing growth and development.