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What is a Fibre Leased Line

Also known as Full Fibre Ethernet, a Fibre Leased Line is an Ethernet leased line service delivered over Fibre Optic cables. Fibre Leased Line speeds start at 100 Mbps and is by far the fastest leased line technology available, offering speeds of up to 10Gbps (with more to come in the future). Fibre is also inherently more stable than copper, offering the most reliable service on the market.

In a nutshell, fibre is the big daddy of leased lines. It’s the one to go for if you have a large office or several offices, or if your business is a heavy user of data-hungry applications and services.

What’s the difference between broadband and a leased line connection?

A Fibre Leased Line is more expensive than a standard fibre broadband connection, but for most businesses the extra outlay is worth it.

  • It’s uncontended – Only you have access to the line, which means your connection won’t slow down at peak times. Data-hungry businesses with standard broadband connections know the frustration of stuttering video calls or slow file downloads at different times of the day. That’s because, like a consumer connection, the bandwidth is shared among other users in your vicinity. With a Fibre Leased Line, the bandwidth is reserved for you and you alone.
  • It’s symmetrical – The upload and download speeds are the same. With many traditional internet connections, upload speeds are hugely reduced in favour of faster downloads. If you’re running a VoIP service, or sending large files to the internet, you’ll benefit from a symmetrical connection. In fact, any business that uses multiple cloud-services will appreciate speeds that are as quick upstream as they are downstream.
  • It’s guaranteed – The SLA that comes with a Fibre Leased Line is likely to be far more thorough and business-friendly than any you might find with standard broadband products. Not only will it offer guarantees around speed and uptime, it will also mean that a fault will be fixed within hours rather than days. If you rely on VoIP calls, cloud productivity applications and e-commerce, you can imagine how important that kind of SLA could be.
  • It’s easily scalable – If your business needs change, the capacity of your Fibre Leased Line can change with them. Once the fibre connection to your business is established, you can react to changing circumstances by upgrading bandwidth at short notice.
  • It’s reliable – Fibre Leased Lines have the lowest latency, jitter and packet loss statistics of all Ethernet technology.

How does a Fibre Leased Line work?

A Fibre Leased Line uses fibre optic technology to send pulses of light from one end of the connection to another. Equipment at one end sends the pulse, equipment at the other end recognises and interprets it, storing messages as binary 1s and 0s. Your data literally travels at the speed of light.

The line is leased from an internet service provider to your business – and your business alone. That exclusivity is at the core of why many businesses choose leased lines over standard business broadband. A Fibre Leased Line gives you the speed you need, whenever you need it, with an extra level of resilience and security on top.

How fast can a Fibre Leased Line get?

The short answer? Lightning fast. Speeds of around 1Gbps are commonly available now, and speeds of 10Gbps will be soon. You might not need those kinds of speeds at the moment, but the beauty of fibre is its flexibility. Many businesses opt for bandwidths of 10Mbps, 20Mbps or 100Mbps initially, with the option to increase capacity when circumstances demand.

When you’re choosing the right bandwidth for you, it’s worth noting that Fibre Leased Line speeds are usually presented in two parts, separated by a slash. A common example is 100/1000. The 100 is the line speed (in Mbps, up and down-stream) – the speed you can get right now. The 1000 is the bearer speed – the maximum speed of the line. If your needs change, you can easily upgrade the line speed incrementally up to the bearer speed.

What are the downsides of a Fibre Leased Line?

In terms of speed and resilience, none. But a Fibre Leased Line is the most expensive leased line option, so you need to make sure it’s the right solution for you before you commit.

Installing a Fibre Leased Line can also take longer than other solutions, with typical lead times of between 35 and 90 working days. However, many providers will supply a pre-Ethernet service (typically based on the 4G mobile data network) to get your business online while you wait for a Fibre Leased Line to be installed.

Do you need a Fibre Leased Line?

Any business would benefit from the speed and reliability of a Fibre Leased Line, but not every business can justify the extra cost over standard business broadband or cheaper leased line options. But if any of the following use cases apply to you, you should at least consider investing in a Fibre Leased Line:

  • All-IP communications – if your business uses VoIP, audio and video conferencing and collaboration tools, a Fibre Leased Line is justified. While standard broadband can handle VoIP, multiple concurrent calls on slower services can lead to dropped audio and stuttering video. If you also want to use unified communications – chat, file sharing, SMS etc – a Fibre Leased Line is a guarantee of high quality connections.
  • Larger businesses – offices with upwards of 80 users tend to have high bandwidth needs, simply because a lot of users are online at the same time, emailing, browsing the internet, making calls and sending large files to the cloud. The sheer weight of users may overwhelm slower connections.
  • Digital-first businesses – if you have lots of applications in the cloud, you need connectivity that can handle a constant flow of up- and downstream data. When resilient connectivity is a prerequisite for core operations, Fibre Leased Lines are a sensible option.

Many single and multi-site businesses should consider a Fibre Leased Line, but if you’re not sure whether it’s the right connectivity option for you, don’t worry. Get in touch on 0161 6946000 and we’ll be happy to analyse your business needs and suggest exactly the right solution for you.