Are you shopping around for the best deal on leased lines? There are dozens of ISPs in the UK, all vying for your business, each with different prices and service offerings.
We know that picking your way through the fine print is a tricky and time-consuming process. As a savvy buyer, you want to know you are getting the best leased line pricing with a service level that suits your needs.
In this guide we cover the providers you should be considering, the main components that determine leased line costs, and finally a quick and easy way to make a whole of market leased line price comparison.
Which UK Leased Line Providers Should You Compare?
You probably already know that BT is not always the cheapest option for a leased line. Did you also know that you could also have all the benefits of their huge existing network from other providers? BT’s competitors essentially became resellers back in 2001 when OFTEL (now OFCOM) ordered that they make their circuits available to other providers at wholesale prices. The deregulation of the market levelled out the playing field and created a more competitive marketplace. Why should you care? Well, we all know that increased competition ultimately favours the buyer. You might even find that you end up with a BT line at lower prices than you would pay directly through their retail division. Furthermore, this competition means that different providers have evolved their SLA’s and differentiated according to market forces. That means that you have more choice and a much better chance of finding the right leased line SLA at the right prices -as long as you know what you need.
BT is not the be all and end all. If you want to get the best price, you should consider a variety of carriers. Virgin, TalkTalk, Colt, Vodafone and others also have resellers leveraging their networks.
For more detailed information you can check out our in depth review of all leased line providers covering, pricing, speed, SLA, install and fix times.
The Top 4 Factors Determining Leased Line Costs:
You might have guessed by now, but a brand name can have an impact on leased line costs, just as it can when you choose which make of cornflakes to buy. Buying from a brand you have heard of can be very attractive because of the inherent trust that a big player with a long history engenders. Branding is something that can play into the hands of suppliers very nicely. While big names like BT and Virgin might offer the best price and service for some businesses, it's not the case for all.
While it can prove cheaper to get your line from a lesser known vendor, you might find think that you'll have slightly less appealing SLAs and installation costs. Interestingly this is usually the contrary. Having a wholesale partner helps smooth out issues with installations and fixes can often get escalated and tracked much faster.
Leased line bandwidths can range from 1Mbps to 10Gbps. The most typical leased line speed at the time of writing (2018) is 20Mbps and speeds of up to 100Mbps are no longer a rarity. The bandwidth you need will largely depend on; the number of users on your network, whether you use cloud-based software, VoIP usage, and the nature of your business. The base level expectation is that your business network should be able to handle large files, stream videos and support reliable voice and video calling so to appear professional to your customers and deliver efficiency to the organisation. Quality bandwidth should be one of your key considerations.
If you don’t need high bandwidth, however, you may be able to get what you need without a fibre optic connection and might save some money by using an uncontended ADSL or EFM circuit.
Location is often the most significant determinant of leased line costs. Where there are multiple networks, there are lower costs. Location means that for many rural areas, businesses do have to pay a higher rate than those in cities or industrial parks. If there is no fibre to your premises or closest street cabinet, then keep an eye out for excess construction costs (EECs). These costs will be determined by a site survey before installation and can run into thousands of pounds. Some leased line providers will absorb much of the expense depending on the length of your contract.
While some providers may not charge you a hefty upfront installation fee, they will recoup the cost in other ways. If you opt for a one year contract, expect to pay much higher installation costs. Most buyers will choose for a deal of 3 to 5 years in duration to avoid the thousands of pounds that their provider would charge otherwise -either as a one-off payment or spread across monthly fees. The only time a shorter contract might be preferable is if you know for sure you will be moving very soon.
Leased Line Price Comparison
With all these variables having such a significant impact on leased line pricing and SLAs, it is difficult to compare the pros and cons of each provider manually. That’s why we created a tool to help you make a leased line comparison in real-time according to your specific needs. If you are looking for a leased line, find the best prices in minutes with AmviaSearch™.