The speed you need: Why go with a leased line over business broadband?

Three people wearing high vis vests are working in a warehouse. One in the foreground is on the phone and using his laptop. He looks happy.
(Image credit: BT)

Every modern business owner knows the importance of a good internet connection. Those moments in which network connectivity fails us stick out in our memory: Calls canceled, projects delayed, emails unsent. With the world more connected than ever, business leaders should treat internet provisions as seriously as other necessary utilities.

But even in a world so reliant on the internet, guarantees of connectivity can still be hard to come by. Business broadband connections can vary in reliability or fail to live up to their promised speeds, which can be endlessly frustrating for workers. Done right, workers shouldn’t have to concern themselves with upload and download bandwidth — the internet should just work for them seamlessly.

Dedicated leased lines are one antidote to this situation. These cut out the middle man entirely by connecting businesses directly to their nearest exchange, and come with better peak speeds and more reliable download and upload in general.

When one uses a broadband connection, one almost always shares bandwidth with multiple different parties in a balance. This is measured using a ‘contention ratio’ expressed as n:1, with a higher number indicating more users sharing one connection and therefore a higher likelihood of bandwidth issues or slow uploads and downloads.

Through a dedicated leased line, businesses can achieve a contention ratio of 1:1, meaning they have guaranteed bandwidth and no dips in speed at peak times. These steady speeds can range up to 10Gbit/sec both up and down, which provides connectivity capable of handling whatever employees need.

Reliable fibre for urban or rural offices

Businesses looking to thrive and expand outside of the UK’s biggest cities have waited a long time to be adequately served by the UK’s fibre boom. Sadly, rural communities are still repeatedly overlooked when it comes to providing internet connectivity.


A whitepaper from BT on how to develop a mobile-first mindset, with image of female worker looking at mobile phone

(Image credit: BT)

Read why, to empower your entire workforce, there’s a requirement to not only embrace hybrid working but also adopt a mobile-first approach for better inclusivity. 


A direct leased line can provide fibre to the majority of sites in the UK and can be a far more reliable method of ensuring one has the internet speeds one needs, rather than waiting for a fibre cabinet to be built near the office.

The end result of this is more freedom to choose where you build your business. At present, businesses have to play the post code lottery when it comes to seeking out the fastest speeds, or are often forced to shift their office closer to a city to enjoy the low latency their competitors already do. This creates rural brain drain and prevents entrepreneurs situated outside cities from achieving their goals. Direct leased lines can alleviate these strains.

Another common occurrence with business broadband – and rural broadband in particular – is downtime. Days where the internet is very slow or goes down completely can kill productivity, or drive employees into spending more time working from home. A direct leased line through a service like BTnet Leased Line comes with a service level agreement (SLA) that comes with guarantees for fibre performance.

With BTnet, businesses are given a 100% uptime SLA, to ensure they have the connectivity they need day or night. The service also comes with 24/7 network support, as a person-to-person backup should the worst case scenario happen. It's this kind of consistency, offered independent of location and not limited to large enterprise, that business leaders have been seeking out since the fibre rollout first began.

Dedicated leased line customers also get a symmetrical connection. This means that the upload and download speeds are equal to one another, to ensure that workforces don’t have to compromise on their activities in the name of particularly fast downloads or uploads. Those who do a lot of video conferencing or who work with large file sizes can especially benefit from this.

Upload speed is often lacking in traditional broadband plans, or at least offered at a slower rate than download speed. Having this symmetrical dedicated line also means that workers can send data via the internet without having to worry about potential data theft or leakage.

Latency is another consideration. Those in roles that necessitate accurate and timely responses to events such as being as present as possible during an important video call or interfacing with remote autonomous vehicles need as low latency as they can possibly get, to reduce unwanted lag. BT’s leased line offers a steady 20ms response time within the UK. and 95ms for cross-atlantic connectivity. The former pushes the limits of human perception, with many users unable to clearly discern the little lag that is present.

This all ensures that staff enjoy as lag-free and borderless an experience as possible while doing their daily work. As previously mentioned, if your staff are actively noticing their internet connection, it means it’s too slow. This is the beginning of real dissatisfaction and productivity issues.

Another benefit of a dedicated leased line is the reassurance that one’s data is safe. With no one else sharing the line, there’s no local way for hackers to perform attacks by joining the same network. 

Adopting a leased line doesn’t mean committing to a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the scale and demand of your business, there are a variety of options for speed and additional tools but all retain those core bandwidth and latency guarantees of a leased line.

Leased lines can be scaled up to suit the growing demand of a business down the road. If gigabit internet isn't a need just yet, one can still tap into the consistency and low latency of direct leased line fibre at speeds starting at 500Mbits/sec.

Business broadband has come a long way in the past few decades, but still has issues that are disproportionately felt by those in rural regions. Through a direct leased line like that available with BTnet, business leaders can ensure their teams have the speeds they deserve, whenever they need them.

For more information on BTnet dedicated leased line options, click here.


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