Have you reached the conclusion that you’re going to need either a leased line or FTTP? The two are drastically different, beyond what the ‘up to’ speeds would suggest.
In this blog post, I’m breaking down the differences between leased lines and fibre to the premises. By the end of this blog post, you will know which of these broadband solutions will meet the requirements of your business best.
Leased Line vs FTTP: Variables To Compare
To get a good idea of which of these broadband technologies is the best, and which will meet the requirements of your business, we need to compare them in several ways. Here’s the factors I’ll compare the two on:
- Reliability and SLAs
These are perhaps the most important considerations for a business choosing between broadband technologies. So, keeping these in mind, let’s compare leased lines and FTTP.
Leased Line vs FTTP: Price
I’ve said it time and time again, and most in the IT industry will agree with me. Price shouldn’t be one of your biggest concerns when choosing between broadband technologies. However, for most businesses, the price can be a deciding factor when choosing between two solutions. Therefore it feels apt to compare these two types of service on their price first and foremost.
A leased line will typically cost between £300 – £500 per month. However, it’s worth mentioning that a leased line can cost as little as £150 per month or as much as £1000+ monthly. So now we’ve established a (very) rough idea of how much a leased line will cost per month, what variables have an effect?
- Speeds: As you may already know, you choose your own speeds with a leased line. You can choose anything from 10Mbps to 10Gbps. Stating the obvious, a 10Mbps leased line will cost your business nowhere near as much as a 10Gbps connection. On average, a 100Mbps (downstream and upstream) connection will cost £350 – £450 per month. A much faster connection, such as 10Gbps, could cost your business £1000+. The speed you choose undoubtedly has the biggest effect on the price of a leased line than any other factor does.
- Length of contract: The longer your contract, the less you will pay per month. For example, a business will a 100Mbps connection on a 1-year contract will pay more monthly than a business with the same speed on a 5-year contract. This applies to virtually everything, including other types of broadband, VoIP, and mobile phone contracts, so shouldn’t come as any surprise.
- Cost of installation: If you choose leased line broadband, the cost of installation is typically recouped over the course of the contract. So this means the cost of installing your connection can directly affect the monthly cost. The cost of installation is usually affected by factors such as your location.
FTTP monthly rental charge will typically range from £45 to £100 per month. Charges can rise as high as £400 per month, however, depending on several variables.
I previously wrote a blog post titled How Much Does FTTP Cost? In this post, I delved into all the variables that impact the upfront and monthly cost of fibre to the premises. You can read the post by clicking here, but I discovered the main variable that affects the monthly cost of FTTP is the speeds you choose.
FTTP Pricing For Different Speed TiersIn this table, the first figure is download speed (Mbps or Gbps) whereas the second figure is upload speed (Mbps).
As you can see in the table above, the price of FTTP will differ a great deal depending on the speeds that you choose. To offer a bit of context, most SMEs won’t require speeds of more than 330Mbps downstream. As a result, FTTP isn’t likely to cost you more than £100 per month.
Leased Line vs FTTP: Speeds
When it comes to business broadband, fewer things are more important than bandwidth. All businesses require broadband that is sufficiently fast. So let’s compare leased lines and FTTP. Which offers the best speeds?
You choose your speeds with a leased line. Speeds of 20Mbps – 10Gbps are available.
A leased line connection is unlike most other connection types, because it isn’t contended. The vast majority of business broadband solutions are contended, which means you share the line into the roadside cabinet with a host of other businesses. A leased line is different; it’s a direct connection between your property and the provider’s local exchange.
Why’s that important? Because the connection isn’t shared with any other properties, you actually get the speeds that you choose. So if you choose 100Mbps, you get 100Mbps. A leased line is one of the most reliable super fast solutions because you always get what you pay for.
Furthermore, leased line speeds are symmetric. If your download speed is 100Mbps, your upload speed is too. This doesn’t apply to FTTP, where speeds aren’t symmetric.
FTTP speeds range from 40Mbps downstream:10Mbps upstream to 1Gbps downstream:220Mbps upstream. FTTP is one of the fastest business broadband solutions and uses the same technology as a leased line. Again, you can choose the package you want and those are the up to speeds you will get.
FTTP speeds aren’t guaranteed. While you might be paying for speeds of up to 40Mbps downstream, you may not get those speeds all the time. Contention is to blame, but there’s nothing you can do about that if you choose a solution such as FTTP. Depending on your specific package, it’s possible there will be some kind of speed guarantee. For example, on a 40:10 package, you may be guaranteed a download speed of 15Mbps.
Leased Line vs FTTP: Reliability and SLAs
Another important point of discussion when choosing business broadband is reliability and SLAs. If your business is reliant on your internet connection to function effectively, you need a reliable internet connection that doesn’t drop. And if it somehow does drop, you need a guarantee that it will be restored quickly; that’s where an SLA comes in.
Leased line providers usually guarantee an uptime of at least 99.9%. A leased line is perhaps the most reliable type of business broadband that there is, thanks to these uptime guarantees and the accompanying SLA.
A leased line is a truly business-grade connectivity solution. Leased line providers do everything in their power to ensure that leased line connections never fail, because they are crucial for the business using them. That’s why all leased line connections come with SLAs that guarantee uptime and fix times.
Most leased lines have a guaranteed fix time of 4 – 7 hours. If your connection drops, your provider will have it fixed within this period of time. With other types of business broadband, such as FTTC, there are no fix time guarantees at all. This means your business could be without your internet connection for days, if the problem took a while to fix. You get what you pay for with a leased line; expect a rapid fix in the very unlikely circumstance of your connection dropping.
Most FTTP providers will guarantee uptime of at least 99%. FTTP is exceptionally reliable. It is one of the most reliable business broadband solutions out there, perhaps second only to solutions such as a leased line.
The likelihood of your FTTP connection falling or failing is very slim. However, it is still a possibility. So are there any guaranteed fix times if your connection does fall?
Some FTTP connections won’t have fix time guarantees or an SLA of any kind. Some providers do offer SLAs and fix times, however, and here’s what you can expect. Most providers offering guaranteed fix times say your FTTP connection should be up and running again within 7 hours. This is fairly fast, particularly when you consider there are no guarantees at all with some types of broadband.
After reading this blog post, you should have a good idea of which connection is ideal for your business.
If you need to keep costs down, but still want a reliable full-fibre connection, go for FTTP. If you want the very best in terms of reliability and guaranteed speeds, a leased line is the best option.