Leased Line Alternatives
We often get asked how to find a cheap leased line, but sometimes even our lowest price is too expensive for some businesses. Leased Line Alternatives can offer a similar service at a much lower price so are starting to become extremely popular with some of our clients, proving particularly helpful for start-ups and SME’s.
Nothing will ever be as reliable as a Leased line, but as mentioned, there are various other solutions that can be put in place to aid your connectivity.
So, we thought it may be helpful to show you what kind of leased line alternatives we can run comparisons for, as well as giving a brief explanation of what they can offer.
EFM – Ethernet First Mile
EFM otherwise known as Ethernet first mile is a great leased line alternative for businesses who don’t require a high speed. EFM’s are not available everywhere in the UK and seem to be getting phased out and replaces with Full fibre broadband. The price of leased lines has dropped recently so it’s not far off leased line prices as they can start from around £150 per month.
The max speed you can achieve on an EFM circuits is around 35Mb, this can be sufficient for smaller businesses who don’t require huge amounts of bandwidth. EFM’s are also symmetrical and uncontended (unlike ADSL). There are also no hidden costs with this internet connectivity, which is a brilliant benefit.
The reason you can only reach speeds of 35 is because cooper lines aren’t capable of anything higher. Also, speed on copper degrades over distance, so the future you are from the exchange the more your speed will decrease.
EFM’s also come with a similar SLA (service Level agreement) as Leased lines. This SLA includes factors such as speed guarantee, fix time guarantee, etc. EFM would not be a good leased line alternative if your business is growing fast and you need scalability.
If these terms are not met to a certain degree, then your company could be entitled to compensation. Each SLA will be different depending on the provider, so make sure you read the small print before signing a contract.
ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
ADSL is your traditional internet connection, it’s cost-effective and uses telephone exchanges and copper infrastructure to deliver the ADSL connection. It’s not a great alternative to but appeals to small business as it’s a fraction of leased line costs.
If speed is not an issue, then ADSL might be for you (although it is getting phased out soon). The max speed you can achieve is around 24Mb download, upload will also be less. Also, there is no guarantee on the speed you’ll receive, it will fluctuate due to contention ratio and peak times. You could be sharing with up to 50 other users at any time.
It starts from as little of £18 per month, which is brilliant for very small businesses on a budget. Contract length are either a 12 month contract, 18 month contract, or 24 month contract, which is slightly different to Leased line which have contracts of 12 months, 36 months, and 60 months.
There is the option to install business class bonded DSL, which is effectively using multiple lines until they give you the speeds you need. It also has a lower contention ratio which should give more stable bandwidth on the line.
This option is more costly than standard ADSL but typically will come in less than £150 per month, although once most businesses reach that price range, they will generally start considering a leased line anyway. That way you get higher speeds and symmetrical upload speed as well as a service level agreement.
FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet
FTTC uses fibre from the local telephone exchange to the green cabinet on your street. From there to your premises copper delivers your data over the internet. This can be a better alternative for many than ADSL as you can reach higher speeds.
FTTC is pricier compared to ADSL, due to the use of fibre and the increased speeds. It start’s from around £40 per month and will rise depending on provider. It’s also more reliable compared to traditional broadband options, which it’s better for businesses.
The max speed achievable on a FTTC connection is around 80Mb, but only a fraction of premises will receive this, but not consistently. But constant high speeds are not guaranteed due to contention ratio and peak times. Speeds are also asymmetrical, meaning the download is greater than the upload. Contract times are the same as traditional broadband.
FTTC is also often used as a reliable leased line backup, but it is very rare the leased lines will go down.
FTTP – Fibre to the premises
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) starts the same as FTTC but instead of swapping to copper from the cabinet it uses fibre all the way to your building. This is often referred to as full fibre broadband service.
FTTP has max speeds of up to 1GB, but this isn’t available everywhere, and even if it is available in your area it isn’t guaranteed. Like all broadband services, speeds are asymmetrical and contended. Peak times and contention ratio can also affect speeds.
Because this is a full fibre circuit it’s slightly more expensive compared to FTTC, starting from £60 per month. This price can vary depending on provider and speed you require. Contract time are the same as FTTC and ADSL, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months.
Within FTTC services you can also get a new technology called FTTP on Demand (Fibre to the Premises on Demand). FTToD allows you to prioritise GEA (generic ethernet access) over FTTP.
Once you order FTToD the provider will survey, plan and build the fibre network to your premises.
Leased lines are still the ultimate business connection if you need fast speeds and the best reliability, so please click here if you’d like to run a comparison. But we hope this has helped you understand some of the alternatives that are available on the market.