Understanding leased line speeds and costs in the UK

Nicola Scoon


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    While you can now access high-speed internet through a fibre broadband connection, a dedicated leased line could unlock even greater speeds. It's also a powerful way to future-proof your broadband to support your growth.

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    What is a leased line and how does it work? 

    A leased line is a type of fibre internet connection that runs straight from the exchange to your business premises. It’s a closed fibre data circuit that connects two (or more) locations and supplies you with high-speed business broadband for a monthly fee. 

    One major benefit of a leased line is that it’s dedicated, or uncontended. This means it isn’t shared with any other businesses or premises. You benefit from higher speeds, better reliability and none of those irritating dips in service at peak times. 


    What are the advantages of a leased line? 

    As you’d expect from such a high-quality service, there are plenty of advantages of a leased line fibre connection. 

    Dedicated connection

    As leased lines are uncontended, which there’s no competition from others using the same connection. This means you get access to the full bandwidth that you’re paying for and the increased service quality that comes with it. 

    With a leased line you won’t see a reduction in line speed at peak times or when there’s heavy demand on the network. For businesses where speed is essential, like service providers processing large amounts of data, this consistency means productivity is no longer hampered by a slow connection. 


    Fast and symmetrical leased line speeds

    Another reason to consider a leased line is, upload and download speeds are fast and symmetrical. This is a huge benefit over a standard fibre broadband connection, where the upload speed can be much lower than the rate at which you can download data. 

    Dedicated connections are one of the best ways to access high-speed internet, with leased line speeds available up to 10Gbps. With a dedicated leased line, you can enjoy superfast upload speeds too. This is great news for businesses that frequently upload or transfer large files – like creative digital agencies or video production studios. 


    Ongoing support

    A major reason to choose a dedicated leased line over a standard fibre broadband connection is the high level of support that you get as part of your contract. 

    Most leased line providers supply you with a service level agreement (SLA) as part of your package. This means that there’s a contract in place that covers what you can expect from your provider for reliability and support.

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    How much is a leased line? 

    Leased line prices can vary, but on average you’re looking at a monthly cost of between £150 and £1000. There are a number of factors that influence how much a leased line costs including where your premises are located and how easy it is to install a connection to you. 

    The major influence on cost is the leased line speed you choose. For higher connection speeds you can expect to pay more, but the difference in pricing between one package and the next is often not as steep as you’d imagine. For example, on a recent quote, the difference between a 20Mb line and a 50Mb line was 18.5%. 

    Leased line comparison Southampton

    As you can see, there’s a difference in cost between providers that becomes more noticeable as you increase the line speed. One provider remains the lowest price option throughout, with the cheapest leased line being a 100Mbps line from CityFibre. With the lower tier speeds, it’s worth exploring your quotes, as you’ll see it’s cheaper to opt for a 50Mbps than a 30Mbps line with BT Business. 

    A great way to make sure you get value for money and future-proof your connection is to look for a leased line on a bearer. For example, a 30Mb line on a 100Mb bearer means you have access to increase your capacity to 100Mb if you need to. You’ll often find that this extra capacity doesn’t increase the cost, so it's well worth it.


    How much is a 100Mb leased line? 

    While you can have a leased line installed on circuit speeds of anywhere between 10Mb and 1Gb, the 100Mb line is increasingly popular with businesses. This leased line speed offers you a comfortable amount of bandwidth to run a business that makes use of cloud systems like Google Drive or Dropbox, internet voice calls (VoIP) and video calling. 

    For a 100Mb leased line, you can expect to pay between £200 and £400 per month. This cost remains fairly standard across UK cities, so you should be able to find a quote close to this for your premises. 

    Currently, businesses in cities including Birmingham, Cambridge and Glasgow can expect to pay £260 per month with CityFibre or £343 per month with BT Business. 

    For a more detailed look at what your investment might be, read through our detailed guide on leased line costs in 2019.


    Is a leased line better than broadband?

    If your business demands heavy internet use and you need a reliable, fast connection then a leased line could be the better choice for you.

    Leased lines are popular for their stability and reliability. With no competition on your line, you’re not exposed to dips in service when there’s higher demand than usual. Instead, you continue to enjoy the same high upload and download speeds you’re used to. 

    Another bonus for choosing a leased line over a standard broadband connection is the support. With most dedicated connections you’ll be provided with a service level agreement (SLA) that details what you can expect from your provider when it comes to service, quality and support. This outweighs the standard support options you’d find as a commercial broadband customer and gives you peace of mind that your internet connection is safe and can be depended on. 


    How do I see leased line speeds and costs in my area? 

    To check the speeds available in your area and to get a quote for a leased line for your business premises, use our free leased line quote tool. 

    Comparing leased line speeds couldn’t be easier, and you’ll instantly receive an email detailing the best providers, packages, leased line speeds and more.

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