Debunking Leased Lines Myths
Although leased lines are now a very accessible option for UK businesses, there still seems to be a great deal of mystery surrounding the whole thing. You may hear different ‘facts’ about leased lines from different people or organisations, which is why we think it’s important to weed out the truth from the fiction.
The cost of leased lines has fallen dramatically in the past 5 years, which makes them a much more viable solution to many UK businesses, especially when comparing with business broadband services that are available. However many people can still be put off based on inaccurate information they have heard. So we thought we would help clear up some of the things we have heard that are incorrect.
Dedicated Lines : Myths vs Facts
Myth: Leased lines are only for big businesses
Truth: Actually, you may be surprised to hear that SMEs are also jumping on the leased line bandwagon. Of course, larger businesses are more likely to install a leased line, but Ofcom reports that around one third of medium sized businesses (those with between 521 and 250 employees) now have leased lines.
Myth: Certain industries don’t need leased lines
Truth: Until fairly recently, this was quite true; there were a few select industries that simply didn’t have the need, such as manufacturing. However, all that is changing, and the manufacturing sector has actually been one of the most outspoken when it comes to demanding affordable leased line access.
Myth: BT is the only supplier of leased lines in the UK
Truth: BT has undoubtedly been the most prominent supplier of leased lines in the UK. In 2004, around 65 percent of leased line customers chose to use BT, according to Ofcom. However, many more suppliers are now offering leased lines. You can compare leased line suppliers to see who is available in your area.
Myth: Leased line contracts tie you down
Truth: According to Ofcom, the average leased line contract is under 2 years, which makes it not much different from broadband contracts. However, many businesses report renewing their leased line contract for around 7 years in total, suggesting their getting a great service that they wish to continue.
Myth: Leased lines are just about speed
Truth: Figures suggest that more than half of all leased line users actually opt for what is categorised as a ‘low bandwidth leased line’. Leased lines aren’t just about speed. In fact, many businesses place less importance on speed, and more importance on a dedicated connection and ultra low latency.
Myth: Leased lines are costly
Truth: Believe it or not, around 15 percent of businesses questioned by Ofcom cited greater cost efficiency as the number one reason for them choosing a leased line. Leased line costs have reduced drastically in the past few years, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious companies. When you factor in the cost of downtime too, getting dedicated line can save businesses thousands.
Benefits of leased lines
Now we have dispelled the myths surrounding leased lines its important to understand how they could benefit your business or if a different connectivity solution would be a better option for you. The UK market for leased lines has exploded over the past few years, and with good reason.
While we move into the age of technology we rely on the internet for most of our daily lives – checking social media, streaming TV shows, music and movies, connecting with friends and families, using sat nav. The list is endless and business applications are no different. Business cloud services, video conferencing, data file transfers, research and more have become increasingly popular for companies. Each of these requires a good internet connection.
There are so many benefits of a dedicated connection but for this we will be focusing on the main ones. Its important to note they are not the same as “full fibre” lines that get sold to businesses, often as a comparable service. We have explained the difference between full fibre and leased lines in another blog. But back to the benefits:
- Dedicated Connectivity – unlike most other internet connections the line is only used by you. No other users means you get a more reliable and stable connection, eliminating the dreaded buffering we all loathe.
- Guaranteed Speeds – Most of us will have experienced getting broadband at home and discovering we only get 12Mb, despite signing up for 54Mb. With a dedicated line you get the exact speed you ordered all of the time which is protected by a SLA.
- Service Level Agreement – Following on from the bandwidth being garanteed – its backed by a SLA. This means should your line ever drop out you are able to start claiming back money off your next bill. Most reputable ISP’s will offer a SLA of at least 99.95% and above.
- Superior Support – Most providers will offer 24/7 tech support with pro-active network monitoring. They will also have fix times which generally range between 4 and 8 hours. Broadband is fixed as and when they can and we have heard stories of it being down for weeks for some businesses.