A leased line is the fastest and most reliable form of broadband connectivity available. Offering uncontested speeds and 99.9% uptime, a leased line is usually reserved for businesses with a heavy reliance on their internet, or those in rural areas.
One question we often get asked is: how much does a leased line cost? In this article, we’ll look at the costs involved in getting a leased line installed at your business.
What is a Leased Line?
A leased line a totally dedicated fibre broadband line that runs from your business premises to the nearest fibre connection (usually a cabinet or telephone exchange).
A leased line gives you an uncontested ‘pipe’ called a bearer. This bearer can be adjusted to be a specific size and speed to match your requirements (for example, 1Gpbs).
Traditional broadband (like the kind you would have at a home or office), is shared between you and multiple other properties around you. This means that during ‘peak hours’, your broadband may slow down. However, peak times do not impact a leased line.
The other benefit of a leased line is the reliability. Because you have a dedicated bearer to your premises, normal internet outages or maintenance work is very unlikely to affect you. Our leased lines have 99.9% uptime, and are the gold standard for reliable broadband connectivity.
Leased lines also have very (VERY) few geographic restrictions. They can be installed pretty much anywhere in the UK. Whether you’re in the Scottish Highlands, or down at Lands End, you can get a leased line installed.
How Much Does a Leased Line Cost?
There are two main costs associated with a leased line: Upfront installation costs, and ongoing monthly costs. Below is a breakdown of the costs of a leased line.
Upfront Installation Costs
Installation is usually one of the biggest costs associated with a leased line. Assuming you don’t already have a leased line bearer in place, then the installation costs depend on your distance from the nearest fibre point.
We have seen leased line installation costs range from a £100 - £200 all the way up to £25,000—it all depends on how easy it is to physically install a leased line bearer to your business.
In the most extreme scenarios, a leased line installation may involve road closures and civil works, which can add additional cost. However, some businesses already have the ducting and infrastructure in place to install a leased line—it all depends on where you are and where your nearest fibre connection point is.
To get an accurate cost for your leased line installation, speak to a member of our team. We can complete a provisional survey using our tools to give you an indicative leased line installation quotation. If this is within budget, then usually the next step is to organise an on-site survey and finalise an installation quotation.
The good news is that the upfront cost of a leased line is a one-off. When complete, the infrastructure is in place permanently and can be used to facilitate even more bandwidth and speed as your business grows.
As part of the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme, you could receive up to £3,500 off your leased line installation.
A leased line also requires high-end network termination equipment (referred to as NTE). Standard NTE is usually not powerful enough deal with the speed of a leased line, so most leased lines use their own specially designed equipment. The cost of this is normally bundled in with the installation cost.
Ongoing Monthly Service Costs
Once your leased line is installed, there is then a monthly service cost, just like any broadband or internet connection.
The monthly cost of a leased line depends on the speed you require. Most leased lines start at 100Mbps (download and upload), which usually cost between £100 and £250 per month.
However, if you’re getting a leased line installed, chances are 100Mbps is not enough for you. Leased lines can go up to 10Gbps, where the monthly cost could be upwards of £1000 per month.
The great thing about a leased line is that, once installed, the connection can be increased in bandwidth; without the need for a new installation. Most of our customers start on a lower speed connection, and then get increase this as their business and requirements grow.
What are the Alternatives to a Leased Line?
A leased line is not the right option for every business. They’re often overkill for most day-to-day tasks. Unless you have a heavy reliance on your broadband, there are some other options that may be better for you.
Fibre To The Premises (FTTP)
The main alternative to a leased line is fibre to the premises (FTTP). FTTP is a fibre connection from your business to the nearest fibre connection point. FTTP offers speeds up to 1Gbps (sometimes even more). Although this is similar to a leased line, the main difference is that your FTTP line is shared amongst other nearby premises.
FTTP is also subject to availability. To get FTTP, your premises must be already connected to the FTTP fibre broadband network, which is usually only available in towns and cities—whereas a leased line can be connected to any property, no matter the location.
The new generation of cellular broadband, 5G, is truly incredible. Offering incredible speeds and high bandwidth.
Just like FTTP, 5G is location-dependant. And with the main coverage being limited to city centres and large towns, 5G may not be available for businesses that are in more rural areas.
However, some businesses in city centres are using 5G as a backup for their main leased line. We have customers in cities across the UK utilising 5G as a failover from their main broadband connection. Their heavy reliance on broadband means that having a failover to a different technology is a no-brainer for added redundancy.
Some businesses with no fibre broadband, and no budget for a leased line, opt for a 4G solution.
4G WiFi is particularly prevalent in businesses with no/limited fibre broadband availability (usually in a rural location). Often these business can use business-grade 4G and LTE equipment to provide their internet connectivity.
Multiple Broadband Lines
For those with a higher budget, where maybe a leased line is overkill, multiple broadband lines may be an option.
Typically, this would be multiple fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) connections, which can be used simultaneously, helping spread the load across multiple connections and thereby increasing the speed of each device on the network.s
The main downside of multiple broadband lines is the lack of flexibility. With load balancing, you’re restricted to specific network setups, and adding more and more broadband lines doesn’t necessarily increase the speed.
For more information about leased lines, or to get a quotation specific to your address, get in touch with our team today, or click the ‘online quote’ button.