In our previous blog, we took a closer look at leased lines, asking what they are, how they work and outlining the different types available. But this overview led to another set of questions: Why exactly do we need leased lines and what benefits do they offer to businesses looking for a fast, reliable internet connection?
To recap, a leased line is a type of private network service, available either as physical fibre lines or as wireless radio connections. Leased lines may be used to establish a data and communication link between two or more business premises (point-to-point), lay down the infrastructure for a wide area network (WAN), or to establish direct internet access (DIA) as an alternative to a standard broadband connection.
What drives the need for a leased line over other options?
For businesses, having a fast, efficient internet connection has gone from being a luxury to a core operational necessity. As we increasingly rely on cloud-based IT and are immersed in a digitised world, customers expect instant, seamless results. Meaning organisations can no longer afford to be held back by below-par or even average connectivity.
The more we do online, in the cloud and across digital networks, the quality of a connection creates a competitive advantage in terms of productivity, operational efficiency and quality of service. In other words, how you connect these days has a direct impact on overall business success.
For a business, a glitch when a member of staff is dealing with a customer query could be the difference between making or not making a sale. A faulty connection could result in a critical application failing, or an important piece of data not being saved properly, creating operational problems that cost time and money to fix.
To put it another way, slow, unreliable connectivity poses a serious barrier to businesses capitalising on the full range of benefits digitalisation promises. You can migrate your systems to the Cloud and focus on digital-first operations, but you need the network infrastructure to support it. For some businesses, standard broadband may no longer meet the performance requirements and demands; this is where a leased line offers an alternative.
What makes leased lines different?
Leased lines overcome many of the limitations and performance uncertainties associated with shared internet connections, benefiting of business users. Here’s how:
- Leased lines are private connections. With a leased line, you are not using the shared public infrastructure of copper/fibre lines and local distribution boxes (or the 4G cellular network) to connect to your nearest internet exchange. You get your own dedicated, private connection straight to your premises. This means that the bandwidth available is uncontended, i.e. it is for the exclusive use of your business only, which means you don’t get the dip in performance at peak times associated with broadband.
- Faster, flexible, fixed speeds: Uncontended bandwidth means leased line providers like M247 can guarantee connection speeds over a leased line – it’s only your business using it, so there’s no scope for variation in performance. In addition, leased lines are faster than even the best FTTP connections, because you are getting a ‘pure fibre’ link (or private wireless radio connection) straight to your premises, without having to pass through local distribution cabinets. M247’s leased lines offer speeds up to 10Gbps.
- Symmetrical connections: Unlike broadband, leased lines don’t have to limit the amount of bandwidth allocated to uploads to bolster download speeds. Leased lines are symmetrical by design, which means you can upload data just as fast as you can download it. This is particularly useful for the modern digital business running most of its IT in the Cloud.
- Low latency: Speed is not the only important measure of network performance. Latency, which is related to speed but slightly different, matters as well. When an online programme you are using starts to buffer, it is not always because your internet connection has slowed down it is more often because of latency, Latency occurs when a large volume of data has been transmitted at once, more than the available bandwidth can easily handle, therefore it takes a moment for the traffic to sort itself out, causing a lag in the data transmission. Even a very small amount of lag can lead to annoyingly glitchy performance, especially in applications where real-time transmission, like video conferencing or VoIP telephone, is most important. Because they share bandwidth, broadband connections are much more prone to the kind of data log jams that create latency whereas private connections, such as leased lines, will perform much better.
- Resilience and security: Leased lines are less likely to experience outages than other connections. As a dedicated private network, leased lines are much simpler to manage. At M247, we monitor all of our leased lines connections around the clock, we guarantee 95.95% network availability, and we offer four-hour repair SLAs on any faults (five hours for a fibre line). In addition, the fact that a leased line is completely private makes it much easier to maintain robust levels of security, again a comfort for any organisation running sensitive data services in the cloud.
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