Different types of leased lines header

What are the different types of leased lines?

Learn about the different types of leased lines and which solution would best suit your business needs.

For many people, their first thought when considering how to connect to the internet would be ADSL or FTTC broadband. Broadband, however, has its limitations that may not make it the best choice for heavily internet-reliant businesses. One major difference between leased lines and broadband lies in how the circuit operates.

Leased lines are synchronous which means that you get the same transfer speed for data flowing in both directions. This can be a big advantage, especially if you have systems in the cloud. This article explains what a leased line is and the different types available, so you can choose the right solution for your business.

Discover different leased line options

According to the complete Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global IP Traffic Forecast report, busy-hour Internet traffic (the busiest 60–minute period in a day) is currently growing more rapidly than average Internet traffic itself. Busy-hour traffic increased 51% in 2015, compared with 29–percent growth in average Internet traffic. If your business needs to operate at times when broadband use is likely to be heavy such as evenings and weekends, a leased line is the ideal solution as you won’t suffer from traffic-related slowdowns. Busy-hour Internet traffic is set to increase by a factor of 4.6 between 2015 and 2020, while average Internet traffic will increase twofold, so broadband contention could get even worse as busy-hour traffic increases.

Leased lines vs broadband

Unlike ADSL and FTTC which can be affected by other users making large demands on the network, leased lines offer a superfast, private resource which has a huge amount of capacity for online activity such as downloading and uploading large files. Unlike broadband, leased lines offer guaranteed speeds and are a must-have if you rely on the use of real-time applications. It also makes for more reliable use of communication services including video calling and VoIP phone calls which are increasingly popular among business users, especially those doing business overseas.

Fibre Ethernet

Fibre Ethernet circuits are the most common type of Ethernet circuits, also known as leased lines. Fibre Ethernet offers unparalleled levels of reliability and speed and can be implemented in most locations regardless of whether or not fibre is currently available. Fibre Ethernet is capable of dealing with large numbers of users and any high bandwidth cloud-based application. Suitable for offices of all sizes, this solution can deliver up to 10 Gbps download and upload speed ensuring that the most demanding applications can be handled with ease. Fibre Ethernet is ideal for businesses that need complete control of their connectivity at all times, where loss of service would have a major financial or operational impact. Get more information about Fibre Ethernet connections here.

Generic Ethernet Access (GEA)/Ethernet over fibre to the cabinet (EoFTTC)

With EoFTTC (Ethernet over Fibre to the Cabinet), a fibre optic circuit runs to a street cabinet and the remainder of the circuit to your premises uses fibre cable. This is similar to the way that fibre broadband is delivered to your home, and EoFTTC is now available in most parts of the UK. A leased line using this technology can deliver download and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps. This high velocity, hybrid solution is a perfect choice if you have around 20 users, and want a cost-effective method to enjoy the benefits of Ethernet and your business location has the required capability. EoFTTC is ideal for businesses that use Hosted Voice (VoIP), video conferencing, and bandwidth-hungry applications. Find out if your business needs a GEA/EoFTTC connection.

Ethernet First Mile (EFM)

The other way in which you might get a leased line is via Ethernet first mile (EFM), which uses a combination of linked pairs of cables and some sophisticated signal processing technology to deliver superfast speeds of up to 35Mb over a conventional copper circuit. Where fibre Ethernet is not available or would be expensive to install, Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) provides an end-to-end Ethernet solution using multiple copper wires to connect your premises directly to the Ethernet Daisy core network. The dedicated, uncontended connection provides a high symmetrical bandwidth. EFM offers a high speed, dedicated and fully managed connection, and is perfect for the smooth running of real-time applications like video conferencing and VoIP, where fibre is not an available option. Find out if Ethernet First Mile is the best solution for your business.


Point-to-Point Leased Line solutions are perfect for connecting offices in different locations, ensuring your data is more secure and network performance is more reliable. Point-to-Point can be used to connect key user locations to an off-site data centre. Your data will be more secure, performance will be more reliable, and by using VoIP connectivity, you’ll make big savings on inter-site calls. Point-to-point leased lines are available using both copper or fibre Ethernet and offer upload and download speeds of up to 10Gbps. Get the full details on Point-to-point internet connections here.

The Cloud

In today’s increasingly commercial world, data is crucial to all aspects of decision making and increasingly that data isn’t kept in-house but is stored in the cloud, and more and more companies are using the cloud for business. If your office package or your ERP system is not installed on your site and you rely on being able to access it via the internet, then a robust connection is essential. If you can’t access your systems, then not only will you lose business, but you’ll suffer damage to your reputation. If you’re relying on the cloud, therefore, a leased line connection gives you additional peace of mind that you’ll be able to use your systems when you need them and enjoy consistent, reliable performance levels.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Your Ethernet provider is required to advise you what minimum standards of service you can expect from them on an ongoing basis, and depending on your provider and the type of solution you have, these can vary wildly. Service level agreements (SLAs) are in many ways like an insurance policy that is included within your Ethernet service, and regulate what will happen in the event of a problem. It’s important to look at the SLAs when taking out a new solution to ensure you are happy with them. When it comes to business Internet, a reliable connection is vital.

Most businesses would struggle to operate even for a few hours if their internet went down, so having a solution with robust SLAs is a must-have as businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on VoIP, cloud and call centres. Whereas a lot of broadband providers offer fixed times for a few days, leased lines can boast a fixed time of just five hours. SLAs take into account elements such as the contention ratio, target fix time and service guarantee, so when reading the fine print from a potential new Ethernet provider, make sure you’re happy with the SLAs before you sign that dotted line.

Why should you choose a leased line?

The world is growing increasingly reliant on the internet, so a reliable connection is vital. According to Cisco, more than half of the global population will be online by 2020. Global internet traffic will be 92 times greater than it was in 2005, and video will make up to 82% of the internet traffic. Whilst leased lines are more expensive than broadband when you consider the better connection, guaranteed speeds, zero contention and robust SLAs, this price difference starts to make much more sense. A leased line not only offers greater reliability but should any problems occur, robust service level agreements mean that any issue can be resolved much quicker.

Compare the different types of leased line deals that are available below:

Leased Line / Fibre Ethernet
Our ultimate dedicated connection
From £157* p/m
The Benefits
  • Up to 10Gbps upload / download speed
  • Unlimited download limit
  • Fully managed connection
  • For businesses of all sizes
  • Can be installed in under 70 days
Find Out More
Point-to-Point Leased Line
Perfect for connecting two or more offices
From POA p/m
The Benefits
  • Up to 10Gbps upload / download speed
  • Ideal for connecting two or more sites
  • High-availability, low latency private circuits
  • Robust SLAs
  • Highly secure
Find Out More
EFM - Ethernet in the First Mile
High speed connection for less
From £133* p/m
The Benefits
  • Up to 35Mbps upload/download speed
  • Available using copper or fibre Ethernet
  • Unlimited download limit
  • Robust SLAs
  • Highly secure
Find Out More
Dedicated line at the lowest prices
From £114* p/m
The Benefits
  • Superfast speeds of up to 20Mbps
  • Cost Effective
  • Fully managed connection
  • Up to 60% less than a leased line
  • Can be installed in 10 days
Find Out More

Invest in a leased line for your business

If you were to lose internet access for a day, what effect would it have on your operations? Would you be able to work around it, or would your business struggle immediately? If the latter is the case, then the extra cost of a leased is a small price to pay for the benefits it will offer your business.

For more information on the best leased line solution for your business, contact leasedline.co.uk and speak to our team directly by calling us on 0808 115 4281 or get in touch online today.

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