As companies are getting bigger, they are investing at a greater rate in faster and more reliable technologies. However, it is not often clear what the different options actually mean, and what option is best suited for businesses. In this article, you will find out what a leased line and FTTP connection are and why a 10Mbps leased line is a better all-around solution for business use compared to a 300Mbps FTTP connection.

What is FTTP? Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) is a kind of internet connection devised for consumers and for small business use. It is called Fibre To The Premises because it sends data from the exchange to the user’s premises over fibre optic cables, through new broadband infrastructure. When users send data to the internet, this travels through the fibre cable to a node, which is usually located closeby at the end of the road or up to 250m. From the node, the data reaches a shared broadband infrastructure and then travels on to the public internet. The fact that the data travels through a shared infrastructure means that users share bandwidth, which makes FTTP a contended service. While there is no official contention statistic users can expect to fluctuate from 10:1 to 60:1. A downside of this is that connection speeds are likely to slow at peak times and hence become less responsive.

What is a leased line? A leased line also referred to as a fibre leased line or Ethernet Fibre, is a scalable, dedicated fibre optic service that is delivered directly to the premises. What makes a leased line more reliable, faster and lower latency than FTTP is that it connects directly to the internet through a dedicated fibre optic cable, as well as dedicated infrastructure, meaning that there is no sharing of infrastructure and bandwidth as there is with FTTP. For this reason, a leased line solution is more suitable for SMB use than an FTTP connection.

Many businesses are exploring their options when it comes to their network connection. The advantages of a leased line for small businesses are multiple. On the other hand, some of the disadvantages of a leased line are that it can cost more per month and that they might require a site survey – even though this is not an issue in many metropolitan areas, it can be a problem in some smaller centres. If the infrastructure is not already available in the location of your business, then you can still receive the service by paying for extra construction charges. This is why Elite offers a free no obligation site survey with all Ethernet orders.  

Why a 10Mbps leased line is better than a 300 Mbps FTTP connection. A 10Mbps leased line is essentially a point-to-point dedicated internet connection, with a speed from 10Mbit/s in both directions to 10Gbps synchronous. This is enough bandwidth for converged communications. 10Mbps is one of the most popular leased line speeds for SMBs, because it provides enough bandwidth to carry internet traffic, corporate WAN traffic and VoIP telephone calls as well, all simultaneously. The difference lies in the way the cable is split between all the premises getting the broadband; with FTTP a business might be sharing the wire with other businesses next to it, while with a leased line the business has a dedicated circuit with no contention.

Another reason why leased lines are so popular is because of falling prices, due to annual market cost reductions, which, by the end of the term, have enabled many organisations to be able to upgrade to a 100Mbps leased line without an increase in their monthly bill. Upgrades need to cope with rising usage, and in the same period, the usage of the company’s leased line can increase, as corporate WAN traffic grows and websites incorporate more videos. For this reason, a bandwidth upgrade can be worthwhile, as usage is only likely to increase with time. The business flexibility a leased line provides represents another advantage, as it is scalable, adaptable, easier to manage, and allows a business to increase its data usage, in correlation with the business requirements.

Can a 10Mbps leased line save your organisation money as well? If your phone system connects to the telephone network via an ISDN30 circuit, you may even be able to save money by switching to a leased line and running SIP trunks over the top of it. The money you would have spent on the ISDN30 circuit rental and call charges can then be used for paying towards the leased line. In some cases, a monthly ISDN telephone bill could pay for your Ethernet Fibre. Furthermore, call charges will also fall, as VoIP calls made over SIP Trunks are cheaper than calls made over ISDN30 circuits.

As for the SLAs, with a leased line issues are fixed within 5 hours for 99.99% of the time, while with FTTP the fix times are usually 1-2 working days; so, although leased lines are a bit pricier, they have three key advantages, which are the 1:1 contention, speed and reliability of the service/SLAs. Furthermore, FTTP speeds are asymmetrical, meaning that the download speeds will be faster than the upload speeds – with a leased line download is symmetrical as well as upload; as for the performance of the connection, with FTTP there are variable latency and speeds, while with a leased line there is a consistent performance and uncontended bandwidth.

In conclusion, FTTP is best suited for residential use or for small businesses that don’t transfer large amounts of data, while a leased line is technically speaking better suited for businesses that use cloud applications and/or VOIP, and transfer large files, and whose business relies on consistent bandwidth 24 hours a day. When considering a new connectivity solution for your business, it’s always worth reflecting on what type of solution your business needs and a leased line is a good option if you rely on internet to run your day-to-day activities, if your business operates in multiple locations, needing a highly reliable connection, and if you constantly transfer large files and amounts of data. If you’re looking for the best connectivity solution for your business, take a look at our services by clicking on the link below – our flexible approach will ensure you get the right solution to fit your business needs.

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