Leased line explained
A shift towards hybrid working, increased use of digital channels and the rise of new technologies means that businesses rely on the internet now more than ever. A reliable, high-quality connection is a non-negotiable for efficient operations across all industries, but it’s important to determine the right way to connect for your business.
While many businesses opt for broadband, could an Ethernet leased line be a better choice? Here, Kristian Torode, director and co-founder of business communication service provider Crystaline, explains.
An Ethernet leased line is a dedicated point-to-point connection between a business and its service provider. A business’ premises are connected to the BT exchange via the Ethernet switch. Using a leased line means that the business has direct connection that it is the single user of, which comes with a range of operational benefits.
Why opt for a leased line connection?
The technical benefits of opting for at leased line internet connection relate to reliability and speed. Leased lines offer symmetrical upload and download speeds, as opposed to asymmetrical speeds that, despite being more common, result in uploading that is considerably slower than downloading.
Symmetrical upload and download speeds are essential for sharing large files, using Cloud services, accessing virtual private networks (VPNs), hosting a website or managing online sales. Opting for a leased line with unrivalled upload speeds prevents unnecessary interruption to these crucial business activities.
In addition to super-fast speeds, leased lines benefit from ultra-low latency. This is critical for business applications such as financial trading, Cloud applications and communication services such as video conferencing or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, where even a fraction of a second of lag can cause problems.
What’s more, the speed of the internet is flexible, meaning you remain in control. If a business is seasonal and anticipates surges in demand around key points in the year, it’s possible to temporarily request extra bandwidth to help handle peaks, and then decrease during quieter periods.
Preparing for the future
While the benefits of opting for a leased line are clear, why should businesses consider making the switch right now? A leased line supports the future of work, which in the post-pandemic world looks like a hybrid working model with more digital technology and adaptation to changing customer behaviours. What’s more, the switch off of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in 2025 will see a forceable shift towards internet-enabled communication, so it’s important to have a system in place that can handle increased demand.
Even if a business does not operate remotely in any capacity, it’s likely that some form of digital communication tools will be used to liaise with clients or partners. Video conferencing and collaboration tools require robust internet connectivity to prevent unnecessary disruption for employees.
Internet-based applications is only becoming more common with the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS). As cloud computing becomes a more viable option due to a reduction in cost, businesses are investing in multiple SaaS products that can be used simultaneously.
However, it’s not only large corporations that are adopting this technology. According to IT management software provider Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 69% of small and medium businesses’ workloads and 67% of data will reside in a public Cloud by 2022.
SaaS adoption is broadening, helping businesses to streamline their practices. But it also puts extra pressure on the internet connection to support several critical applications at once. Opting for a leased line gives a business robust connectivity to accommodate current and future technological developments.
Better customer experience
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented dependence on digital connectivity for businesses, as the only method of communication throughout the pandemic. Yet the fast development of these tools has left a lasting impact on customer expectations.
According to KPMG, the use of chat technology and social media has increased threefold during the pandemic. Customers typically now prefer social media, webchat, messenger and SMS over traditional communication channels to communicate with organisations.
This means that 24/7, seamless customer service has become critical for any consumer-facing business, and a reliable, continuous internet connection is a key enabler of customer satisfaction and positive brand image. With digital customer service playing a critical role in operations, businesses can protect their connection by opting for a leased line.
It’s impossible to know what the future of work will look like with the foundations constantly shifting. However, what we can be certain of is that reliable internet connectivity will continue to be fundamental to success. Investing in a leased line gives businesses peace of mind that their system is ready to handle for whatever the future throws at it.
The author is Kristian Torode, director and co-founder of business communication service provider Crystaline.