Leased Lines FAQs

Leased Lines FAQs

What is a Leased Line?

A leased line is a private high-performance circuit which can carry data, voice, or both. Unlike traditional broadband, this is a completely uncontended service with consistent bandwidth delivery and symmetrical downstream and upstream, and is fully managed and supported by Arrow’s support team and a service level agreement (SLA) with a guaranteed fix time. We can deliver leased lines via copper or fibre and provide different levels of bandwidth and resilience options to suit your needs.

Explain the types of Leased Line? What are the speeds?

We can offer various types of leased line to suit your business within your budget. Here are our main offerings:

  • For those with a lower budget and requirement we can provide a dedicated form of Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) Ethernet which can provide uncontended bandwidth up to 20mbps downstream running over an analogue line similar to broadband.
  • Our midrange leased line product is Ethernet First Mile (EFM) which uses existing copper pairs to deliver bandwidth. EFM can deliver up to 35mbps in certain areas and smaller circuits are an ideal choice for those adopting SIP and hosted telephony through Arrow.
  • We offer fibre leased lines as our premium dedicated product for connectivity. We deliver most of our leased lines on 100Mb bearers. We can allocate some or all of this bandwidth for your use and you can increase this if you require more. 1Gb or 10Gb bearers are available to provide you with a vast amount of bandwidth just for your business.

What are the differences between EFM and Fibre Leased Lines?

EFM is delivered over existing copper pairs and as such the availability is more limited due to the importance of distance from the local telephone exchange. In addition to this there is a far greater range of bandwidth options available on fibre leased lines. EFM is not a scalable product – once you have purchased, for example, a 10Mb EFM line it is difficult to increase this in the future. Our leased lines are all delivered on 100Mb bearers which means you can increase your bandwidth up to 100Mb if required. This gives you long term scalability as a growing business. EFM can provide resilience as part of the circuit; if one copper pair fails you will still be able to run the circuit on reduced capacity while on our fibre leased lines we can provide a quotation for a resilient broadband service or backup leased line.

Why can’t we just use ADSL or Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)?

FTTC can offer headline speeds of up to 80mbps which sounds sufficient for any business. However, this is a contended or shared service so you may experience slower periods in the afternoon when more people start using the internet and streaming content. Furthermore, if there are many heavy users in your area you may never experience the full amount of bandwidth available. In addition to this you won’t receive the same SLA that you’d otherwise get on a leased line. If the circuit fails you be without an internet connection for up to 48 hours.

Leased lines deliver dedicated bandwidth which is symmetrical, so a 30/100 leased line would experience 30Mb downstream and 30Mb upstream, while an ADSL connection could experience up to 20Mb downstream and 1Mb upstream. This is incredibly important when it comes to businesses who adopt SIP, video conferencing and cloud applications.

What about backup solutions?

We can offer automated ADSL backup on all leased lines as standard. The ADSL services uses the same router as the primary circuit or a completely separate one. Alternatively, if lots of bandwidth is always required an EFM circuit or a resilient fibre leased line is a good backup option and provides extra peace of mind.

What carriers do you use to deliver these services?

We are carrier neutral and use a variety of suppliers to deliver the best service to you. Our choice of supplier for your business will depend on location, bandwidth requirements and also the type of resilience needed for the connection.

The companies we work with are Gamma, Vodafone and Virtual1. Virtual1 provides interconnects with BT, Virgin, TTB, SSE, Colt and also have their own network in the London area.

Why do leased lines take so long to install?

There is currently very high demand for fibre leased lines across the United Kingdom which has in turn created a lot of work for Openreach, planners and their contractors meaning that these lines can take anywhere between 50-100 working days to install.

Our provisioning team will keep you informed of all dates, surveys and milestones which are relevant to your specific circuit. With this in mind we strongly recommend that you place orders for leased lines as soon as you can if you have specific deadlines to meet.

The costs of fibre leased lines has dropped drastically over the past 3 years and this has certainly contributed to the increase in demand for these services.

I don’t know where to start – what leased line would suit my business?

Our product specialists will advise you based on your requirements such as number of users, applications and also your future plans in terms of scalability.

Where does the leased line plug in?

It terminates in what you will probably refer to as your ‘comms room’ or ‘server room’ and is delivered via a Cisco or Juniper router which tends to be rack mounted. You can then plug this into your firewall and it will work. Alternatively we can quote for an engineer to come and do this for you.

Arrow can provide an end-to-end solution as well as a managed WatchGuard firewall to plug into the leased line. This will provide you with best-of-breed security on your LAN whilst allowing our support team to manage the entire service for you.

How do leased lines work with SIP? Do they run alongside data?

Leased lines can provide internet access only, be a transit for your SIP traffic or provide you with a ‘converged’ solution which allows both internet and voice traffic. The latter will utilise Quality of Service (QoS) to ensure that voice traffic is given priority and allocated a set amount of bandwidth to ensure consistently good voice quality for your SIP or hosted telephone system. We would always discuss this as part of the sales process and ensure the right amount of bandwidth is allocated based on your likely number of concurrent calls.

What about MPLS? I want to connect my offices together.

MPLS IPVPN is a method by which you can connect your offices together via leased lines or broadband circuits which all meet in the ‘cloud’ which creates a private network enabling all of your offices to communicate with each other. You can also utilise centralised internet breakout from the cloud allowing access to the internet which is secured by a managed firewall. The following diagram illustrates how this works:

MPLS site connectivity

Three large offices and two smaller satellite offices connect into the private network. The large offices connect via 100/100 leased lines with 50/100 diverse backup leased lines and the satellite offices connect using ADSL2+ broadband. 100Mb of internet is delivered via the MPLS core and the network is protected by a centralised managed firewall held in the core.

This is an ideal set up for businesses who are expanding their presence nationally or internationally and also works perfectly for scenarios where SIP is in use or when hosted telephony is a perfect fit in a multi-site environment.

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