What is the Difference between Full Fibre and a Leased Line?
FTTP vs Leased Lines
If you’re looking for super-fast internet access for your business, then there are only two options that will satisfy your need for speed: fibre to the premises (FTTP) and a leased line. Although these are two separate and distinct data connectivity services, there’s a lot of similarities so how to decide the optimal connection for your business?
With FTTP there are 2 types, FTTP as a standard service where the infrastructure is in place and orders can take 5 to 12 working days to implement and FTTP on Demand, FTTPoD, which is a more planned service, much like a leased line. The latter may incur high costs to cover installation where the standard FTTP would be a standard fee.
Firstly, let us look at how each service is deployed. Leased Lines are fibre optic cables going directly from the exchange point to your premises. Whereas, with FTTP a fibre optic will come from the exchange point to your local roadside cabinet. From there another fibre cable will run into your business.
Businesses get higher speeds on FTTP and Leased Lines compared to FTTC. The typical speeds range from 20Mbps right up to 1GB. There’s also the fact both services involve some level of work, as, unlike traditional internet service which is delivered across a phone line, both leased lines and fibre to the premises are delivered directly to the business. This can make them more costly initially, although monthly fees are significantly dropping as there continues to be a higher demand for these services.
Speed– When you arrange for FTTP, the rate you pay will be for a guaranteed connection speed, not a guaranteed received speed. With FTTP, there will always, at some point along the cable, be other premises that are sharing that bandwidth, so while FTTP is often very good in terms of speeds, it’s not always that reliable. With a 20Mbps service, you won’t receive this all the time. Leased lines are different; they are dedicated to your business and your business alone, which means that the speed you pay for is the speed you’ll receive. Also, speeds for FTTP are asymmetrical, whereas Leased Line has symmetric upload and download speeds.
Contention Ratio– As explained above, with FTTP you will be sharing your line with other premises. For example, at peak times if there are 20 other businesses sharing your line, the contention ratio is 20/1. Whereas, with Leased Line there is no contention ratio as you’re the only user on the line.
Price– There’s a massive price difference between Leased Line quotes and FTTP. FTTP (depending on provider) will range from around £30-£60+, depending on the speed you choose. Leased Line start from around £150 per month for the lower bandwidths. The price can also go up depending on how far you are from the exchange, and if you receive any ECC’s (Excess Construction Charges).
SLA– Both services will have an SLA (Service Level Agreement). The only difference is that Leased Line SLA is more in depth. Such as the standard fix time for FTTP is around 2 days, whereas the standard fix time for Leased Lines is usually 5 hours. Another factor on a Leased Line SLA is speed. If you don’t receive a certain speed you could be entitled to compensation.
Reliability– Ethernet Leased Lines are extremely reliable and are guaranteed to never go down. Whereas, with FTTP the line can sometimes lower in speed or drop out completely. This is normally because there are too many people on the line, and it will cause a bottleneck effect.
Availability– Leased Lines are available to 100% of the UK, it’s just dependent on if you can afford it. The more rural you are the more expensive it’ll be. FTTP is available to around 94%, either as part of the standard FTTP supply or FTTP on Demand (FTTPoD), in the UK, but Open reach is planning to make it available to 4 million more homes by 2021.
Installation time– Leased Lines can take 60-90 working days to be installed. FTTP only takes around 10-15 working days, unless it is FTTPoD which can take considerably longer.
Contract Terms– Leased Line contract terms are either 12 months, 36 months, or 60 months. Whereas FTTP is normally 12 months, 18 months, or 24 months. If you choose to go for a 12-month contract on Leased Lines, you’ll have to pay a hefty install charge. Whereas with FTTP the install is normally free.
Which is better?
Technically speaking, leased lines are the best type of internet connectivity, but that’s not to say that FTTP doesn’t deserve its place in the business internet rankings. What FTTP does is essentially bridge the gap between standard consumer-grade services and comprehensive business-grade connections, and it works well for companies who want fast internet but don’t require the full guarantees that come with a leased line.
For those who do require a little more, leased line products feature good service level agreements (SLAs), which provide peace of mind that your internet service provider will do what it takes to ensure your service continues to be fast and reliable, minimising downtime and reducing disruptions.
Call Numberite on 01392 241666 to discuss your internet access requirements.