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Thread: Leased lines - the "alternative" to decent broadband for a business

  1. #1

    Leased lines - the "alternative" to decent broadband for a business

    Hello Rural businesses and work from homers,

    I came across a useful website that provides "free" estimates using a selection of Tier 1 (read: BIG telecoms companies) quotes for a leased line between one or two locations.

    A leased line is effectively a "private" connection to the internet with synchronous speeds (same upstream and downstream). Essential to run your own websites and provide video conferencing and filesharing.

    As a taster, I tried asking for a "single site" leased line to Langton Green for 100 Mbps, and the best quote came out at 1100 per MONTH, plus VAT, for a 3 year commit. Ouch.

    Without understanding how that was calculated, or what the Service Level Agreement looks like, that's not much more than "interesting". However, it does provide an insight into the world of telecoms charges, and explain why large telecoms companies are eager to protect their leased line business which will be decimated by the onslaught of SuperFast broadband. Now - is that our problem, or theirs?

    IM me to chat

  2. #2
    Interesting....but don't think I could justify paying a grand a month on broadband to the wife!

  3. #3
    For businesses there is still ISDN offering multiple 64k channels for linking LANs to LANs. It costs around 20 per month for ISDN2 (2 channels) with BT. Virgin also do it. Not sure if there is still a "connection time" charge on top, there certainly used to be. I had a very bad experience with it long ago with a PC that decided to dial up an ISDN link across Europe every 2 minutes without anyone knowing and running up a gigantic bill with Italian Telecom. Never wanted to go near ISDN again!


  4. #4

    Post ISDN - the ins and outs, and other nostalgia

    ISDN is very antiquated nowadays. It requires modems that "dial on demand" as it must dial a telephone number to connect. It is digital, and very quick to dial, but there are complex profiles required to set it up correctly. You can pay to have someone like BT or Virgin sort this out for you of course.

    After having it installed (it has RJ45 connectors with very different voltages on them so WATCH OUT and do not connect it to your LAN!), it boils down to what you can negotiate for call charges. If you manage to get a deal with "free local calls" or "free national calls" then there are no additional charges for the 128k connection with ISDN2e (2 x 64 Kbps channels, bonded). I doubt you will as I've never managed to find one. So, if you don't have an "all you can eat" deal, every minute that you stay connected you are running up telephone call charges. Usually, your provider charges you the normal call rate for every channel you use - gets VERY expensive VERY quickly. A channel is equivalent to a single old fashioned telephone line, with a modem on it or someone's voice. Here's a link to pricing, provided by someone else as establishing the total rental and call costs is a small project in itself:

    Unless you are using an ISDN30e (up to 30 channels of 64 Kbps in Europe - the US has only 24), the bandwidth you get for the complexity and cost usually says "forget it".

    I do use ISDN2e circuits for 128 Kbps backup of leased lines occasionally, as the networks are generally separate, so if the leased line is toasted by an energetic JCB or pickaxe, then the ISDN line can usually still connect, temporarily. The ISP has to support this.

    I would suggest that if reliability is important to you, then mucking about with stuff like ISDN may be work out more expensive than a bona fide leased line service or even something like SDSL (Synchronous Digital Subscriber Line). If reliabiliity and bidirectional traffic isn't *the* most important thing, then ADSL or VDSL, will probably do. Of course, you get MUCH better reliability with fibre as it either works, or it doesn't. None of this "it's raining and cold today - my connection is slow, maybe there's some water damage on the copper bit of my line?". You just never know with VDSL (Fibre to the Cabinet - Copper to the Home). After your ISP helpdesk gets you to restart your router, swap the ADSL filter, make pancakes and dip a Rich Tea into your cuppa, you may get a technician that's willing to run diagnostics to work out where the problem is. Assuming you've checked all the normal stuff yourself or got a friendly neighbour to help you check it!

    In short - an ISDN30e in Europe has a maximum bidirectional speed of 2 Mbps, and is usually horrendously expensive if used as an "always on" broadband replacement.

    IM me to chat

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