Dedicated leased line
A leased line has many unique selling points that make it a top choice for UK businesses. There’s guaranteed speeds of up to 10Gbps, for example, symmetrical upload and download speeds, and ultra-low latency which minimises delay, but one of the biggest advantages of a leased line is that it’s reliable and perfect for business applications such as cloud services.
Leased line services usually come with a pretty impressive service level agreement (SLA) which means that the provider has targets to meet in terms of uptime. Often, uptime will need to be around 99%.
While this means that a business should receive the promised service 99 percent of the time, this does leave a 1 percent gap which is typically used to cover a provider should an issue occur which is out of their control. Fortunately, downtime with a leased line is incredibly rare, but it’s still something that we need to take into consideration. As a leased line is generally recommended for businesses that need an ‘always on’ connection, it’s important to ensure you have an adequate backup solution in place.
There are actually a number of different leased line backup solutions available depending upon the type of traffic a business anticipates needing to send and receive. Maintaining an ISDN line, for example, can be beneficial for businesses that rely heavily upon voice communications during day-to-day operations. However, the two most popular forms of backup are an ADSL connection or a second leased line, among other solutions.
Leased Line – In the UK, there are currently two main carriers for leased line networks: BT Openreach and Virgin Media Business. If a business has a BT leased line installed, they may also wish to install a Virgin Media leased line as a backup, or vice versa. Most Leased lines can also include a security service.
The advantage of this is that a business will retain the symmetry of the connection, so it’s ideal for businesses who rely upon uploading large amounts of data; file sharing, cloud computing, and video conferencing, for example. To minimise costs, it is recommended that a backup leased line have slightly slower speeds than a main leased line – just enough to ensure a business can continue to operate.
ADSL Line – Having a backup ADSL connection is the quicker, easier, and more cost-effective option and could save you money. However, it isn’t as a good an option as a backup leased line as it will typically be less reliable and slower than a leased line, particularly as upload speeds will not match download speeds.
For businesses that do opt for an ADSL backup line, and will have multiple connections within the same office, it is recommended they opt for a load balancing router that is capable of managing these mixed connections. In emergency situations when the backup is required, a load balancing router can help to prioritise certain traffic, such as voice traffic, for example.
FTTC – Fibre to the cabinet is the next broadband connection above ADSL. Compared to ADSL it slightly more reliable and can give you faster speeds, up to 80MB compared to the max 35Mb that ADSL gives you. It is slightly more expensive compared to ADSL, but it will be a better backup option compared to ADSL. FTTC starts from around £40 per month, can the lines can be bonded together if need be.
It runs on copper as well as fibre, hence the rise in price and speed. As mentioned above, no connection will beat a Leased line in terms of reliability and stability, so unless budget prohibits it, a leased line back up would be the best option.
FTTP – Fibre to the premises is the best broadband connection you can get. Many people will get this confused with Leased lines as it’s full fibre connection, the only difference is FTTP is a shared line whereas Leased lines arent. It works by a fibre line coming directly from the exchange point to your local roadside cabinet, from there another fibre line is run to your premises.
This isn’t often a backup solution because if a company can get FTTP, and it sufficient, they normally won’t get a Leased line in the first place. Also, FTTP can be pricey ranging from £60 upwards. But if a Leased line is still needed, and you can get FTTP, this would be a good back up option.
Satellite – This type of internet connectivity isn’t as widely used compared to the other broadband solutions. It works via a communication satellite dish, hence the name, so no wires are needed. The speed it can provide is comparable to ADSL. It is a cheap solution with very fast install times.
This isn’t really a sort after back up solution, but if it fits your needs then it might be an option to go for. Many rural locations will go for a Leased line as fibre isn’t readily available, so if that is the case you a good back up solution would be a satellite connection as it is more readily available in rural areas compared to FTTP/FTTC etc.
Due to the high resilience of a leased line, faults are very unlikely. However, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. For businesses who rely heavily upon a connection for day-to-day operations, having a backup solution in place certainly isn’t a bad idea. A backup leased line and backup ADSL, among the other solutions, are worth considering, giving you peace of mind that should the worst happen, your business will bounce back.
If the Leased line was to go down, which again is unlikely, without a backup solution this could be devastating for your business. It could affect business applications such as VoIP phones, cloud services, websites, servers, among other factors. If these were to go down your business could look hundreds even thousands of pounds, so investing in an alternative backup solution is definitely worthwhile.