We often get asked about what the difference is between broadband and leased lines. It’s a source of much confusion.
This article provides a clear outline of both options, explaining what they are, the pros and cons of each, and how to decide which is the best choice for you.
By the end of this article, you should be in a position to make an informed decision for your business.
What is a Standard Broadband Line?
A standard broadband line, much like the one found in most homes, is a shared internet connection with other users. While it involves a fibre line to the cabinet on your street (the green BT junction box), the rest of the connection to your premises relies on copper. This setup is commonly known as FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet).
What is a Leased Line?
In contrast, a leased line is a dedicated connection, ensuring that your speeds remain unaffected by other users. This is a direct fibre line all the way to your premises. That’s why a leased line is often referred to as FTTP (Fibre to the Premises).
Interestingly, leased lines are actually a type of broadband connection too. But for simplicities sake, we’ll use the terms “leased line” and “broadband line” throughout this article to differentiate between the two.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Broadband Lines
Standard broadband lines are generally much more affordable, making them suitable for smaller businesses with fewer simultaneous users. They can be sufficient for more basic business tasks.
The speed of “standard” broadband lines can’t compete with leased lines and you’re less guaranteed to get the speed advertised by your ISP. If your business doesn’t heavily rely on high-speed internet and can tolerate occasional slowdowns, this might not be a significant concern.
Latency is a term for how fast data gets transmitted across your line. With broadband lines, you might experience slightly higher latency compared to leased lines. While this might not be noticeable for standard office tasks, it can be a issue for activities like cloud computing or video conferencing.
Another consideration is that broadband lines tend to have a slower response time for resolving issues. If a problem arises, the support team might take more time to address and fix it.
One advantage is that the lead time for installation of a broadband line is faster – meaning you should get your line installed quicker than you would with a leased line.
Finally, a fixed IP address may or may not be provided with a standard line. This can be an important consideration for a business that needs a single IP address for networking or application reasons.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Leased Lines
In many ways, leased lines provide the opposite advantages and disadvantages to the standard broadband line.
Leased lines come at a higher cost due to their dedicated nature. This type of line is designed for bigger businesses with several simultaneous users. If your business heavily relies on a fast and reliable internet line, leased lines are the way to go.
The speed of leased lines is consistently high, irrespective of the number of users, and they generally have lower latency, making them ideal for activities that require a constant connection, like video calling.
One of the significant advantages of leased lines is faster technical support. The SLA ensures that any problems are addressed promptly based on an agreed contract, keeping downtime to a minimum. If you can’t afford to be without a line for long periods, a leased line is probably the best option for your business.
One consideration is that leased lines tend to take longer to order and install than broadband lines.
Finally, leased lines provide a fixed IP address which is an important requirement for some businesses.
The Cost Difference between Broadband and Leased Lines
Standard broadband lines are generally much cheaper than leased lines. Here are some rough costs.
Pricing for standard broadband can range from £30 to £50 for speeds of 36 Mbps to 67 Mbps, while leased lines cost more, ranging from £200 to £400 for speeds of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps.
Obviously, these prices can vary, so contact us if you require a detailed quote based on your circumstances.
Why are Leased Lines More Expensive?
Leased lines come at a higher cost due to their dedicated nature. Your ISP can afford to supply standard broadband lines at a cheaper cost because they’re shared with other businesses.
Additionally, leased lines use more fiber as the line extends all the way to your premises.
Finally, you also pay a premium for the additional benefits and peace of mind that comes with a leased line. Enhanced support, faster SLAs, and specialised engineers all contribute to the additional cost to your ISP.
A Quick Overview
Here’s a table that provides a high-level view of the differences between the two options:
|Size of Business
|Varies with users
|Consistent and high
|Lower (important for cloud)
|Slower issue resolution
|Faster issue resolution
|Fixed IP Address
|May or may not be fixed
Which is Better – Broadband or Leased Lines?
So, which is superior – broadband or leased lines? It depends on your specific needs.
Broadband lines, being more affordable, are suitable for smaller businesses with less reliance on connectivity. Leased lines, though pricier, offer faster speeds, making them ideal for heavy users and businesses that rely heavily on their internet line.
What About SoGEA?
You might have heard of something called SoGEA broadband and wondered how this differs from the lines mentioned in this article.
In simple terms, SoGEA is the same as a standard broadband Internet line but the difference is you don’t need a phone line. This is the modern version of broadband as it is unaffected by the upcoming BT line switch-off in 2025. The other advantages and disadvantages are the same as a standard broadband line as mentioned in this article.
If you want to know more about SoGEA, check out our dedicated article: What is SoGEA?
We hope this guide has equipped you with a greater understanding of the differences between broadband and leased lines.
Choosing the right solution is vital for your business’s efficiency and productivity. If you need help making this decision, or if you need a competitive quote, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Tetra team today.