What is the difference between broadband and a leased line?
Today, businesses of all sizes are heavily reliant upon their internet connection. Therefore, we’re frequently asked what the best type of internet connection for a business might be, and specifically what the differences are between broadband and a leased line. Below we have outlined those differences.
Contention is the number of users competing for a connection. The more competition for that connection, the higher the contention and the worse the connection.
A leased line is a dedicated connection, and therefore there is no contention. Your business is connected directly to the local exchange and therefore you don’t share access with local residents or businesses. Conversely, broadband is not a dedicated connection and therefore you share your connection with others. In real terms, this reduces the connection speed and is why your household internet connection is likely to slow down during peak times such as the evening.
2. Connection Speeds
Leased lines tend to get higher connection speeds when compared to your traditional broadband connection. However, in addition to this, they provide you with symmetrical connection speeds. This means that your download speed and your upload speed are the same.
With a traditional broadband connection, the download speed is a lot quicker than the upload speed. The quicker the upload speed, the better the online experience will be and the easier it will be to upload data to the internet. This is particularly useful if you have a load of users or you utilise cloud technology. Large off-site backups can take hours over a traditional broadband connection but will be a lot quicker with a leased line.
A leased line connection will also be fixed, so you get exactly what you pay for, whereas with broadband, providers are only required to provide ‘best efforts’. This is why broadband promotions will always say something along the lines of ‘speeds of up to…’.
3. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Leased lines come with Service Level Agreements as standard and broadband connections do not. A Service Level Agreement is a minimum standard that you can expect from your provider.
In real terms, this means that your provider will define how long fixes will take before you are due a pre-defined refund or compensation. It will also outline the minimum amount of uptime you can expect from a connection. Alternatively, with broadband, you have no guarantees as to the time any fix will take, and you’re not always due a refund or compensation in the event of an outage.
4. Contract Length & Cost
A leased line internet connection will tie you into a longer contract than that of a broadband connection. Typically, you will need to agree to a 36-month deal but this isn’t always the case. When you purchase broadband internet, the contract terms will often be shorter and in the region of 12 to 24 months.
Due to the additional features of a leased line, you can expect a larger bill at the end of each month. However, unlike a broadband package, there are no download limits or usage caps.
Which is better broadband or a leased line?
For a business, we’d almost always recommend a leased line over broadband. Whilst this costs more, and ties you into a longer contract, the benefits far outweigh the costs. A dedicated leased line supported by SLAs means you will have a robust internet connection that you can rely upon. You won’t have to worry about downtime or slow speeds being of detriment to your business and will be able to scale the connection in line with your business growth.
Want more information? Read our next blog post which outlines the advantages of leased line connections.