A lot of businesses don’t have leased lines. That’s undeniable. But many of those same businesses would greatly benefit from the increased connectivity speeds and service. So why don’t they have one? It’s not an issue of cost. These days leased lines are very, very affordable. Instead, the problem lies in failing to understand what exactly a leased line is—and why it’s a better business solution.
So what is a leased line? Let’s start with the basics, and use a simple analogy. The Internet is somewhat like a road network. There are ‘motorways’: large data ‘pipes’, which carry the greatest amount of traffic, and at the highest speed. But traffic also travels along smaller, slower data ‘pipes’—the equivalent of ‘A’ roads, ‘B’ roads, and narrow lanes.
Your business won’t be connected directly to a data ‘motorway’. Instead, it will be connected via one of those smaller, slower data ‘pipes’. Most typically, an ADSL2+ broadband ‘pipe’, but typically using a higher-speed, larger bandwidth business package, rather than an ordinary domestic consumer package.
Now, ADSL2+ broadband is a huge improvement on those old, slow dial-up Internet connections that we all remember from years ago. But ADSL2+ broadband isn’t perfect. Far from it.
What’s wrong with ADSL2+ broadband?
Several things—even if your business’s ADSL2+ broadband connection is fibre-based, rather than copper.
- Compared to a leased line connection, ADSL2+ broadband is slow. Very slow. As a comparison, a leased line offers speeds of 10Gbps. But even a fast—very fast—ADSL2+ broadband connection will struggle to reach anything like a fraction of one-tenth of that speed. And in today’s business world, bandwidth matters—especially as the number of users sharing that connection increases.
- An ADSL2+ broadband connection is asynchronous, with the upload speed being much slower than the download speed. For a lot of consumer applications—watching movies, say, or streaming music—that’s fine, as upload traffic is limited. But in the world of business, upload traffic can be extensive—off-site data backups, say, or videoconferencing over Microsoft Teams or Zoom. For businesses, upload speeds matter.
- An ADSL2+ broadband connection doesn’t offer guaranteed, reliable data speeds. That’s because ADSL2+ broadband connections are contested—meaning that they’re shared with other users apart from your business. And as the number of such other users increases—especially at busy times of the day—the speed of your ADSL2+ broadband connection slows down, shrinking your bandwidth and adversely impacting the user experience.
There are other drawbacks to an ADSL2+ connection, chiefly in areas such as quality of service support, and uptime guarantees. But those are the main ones.