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Fibre Ethernet - Leased Lines

So you want the best possible internet connection for your business or organisation?

Look no further!

A proper leased line is what you need – more commonly now called Fibre Ethernet.

Note! The government is funding installation charges! Click on the picture below to find out more:

Government funds installation of fibre ethernet

A leased line is a dedicated internet connection purely for your use - a dedicated connection to the public internet.

If your business or organisation wants the most reliable and/or fastest connection possible with service level guarantees and fast fix rates, then a leased line is what you need. Of course, it is the most expensive option. There are various 'flavours' of leased lines.

Fibre Ethernet is the mostly costly type of internet connection - but they are also the best available with the best speeds, performance and Service Level Agreements.

In the past, such connections have been prohibitively expensive for SME/Small Businesses and have been only affordable for the larger enterprises. However, costs have come down significantly recently.

They are sometimes referred to as 'private circuits' - the earliest type was called a 'Kilostream' circuit. In the past, BT were the only real supplier available. BT also used to allow multiple offices to have direct connections to each office (ie directly between London and Manchester via the BT Exchange network). This is no longer possible and businesses now connect each site to their ISP's network at each end.

Note not all suppliers offer the same functionality and some will charge you a lot more than others to change bandwidth or add voice/SIP trunks.

What are the different speed options with Fibre Ethernet?

Typically, these connections come in 3 variants:

  • A - 10Mb bearers with speeds of between 1Mb and 10Mb in 1Mb increments - these are often not a good option as it is now more cost effective to install 100Mb bearers (see B below)
  • B - 100Mb bearers with speeds of 1-10Mb in 10Mb increments and then up to 100Mb in 5Mb increments
  • C - 1Gb bearers providing speeds of up to 500Mb in 50Mb increments - it is possible to get faster speeds as a special project

Is Fibre Ethernet reliable?

Yes - extremely reliable. More often than not, fibre is underground, certainly where it is in the public domain - therefore there is little chance of faults developing unless underground cables are damaged for example.
All connections are properly managed and the 'Target Resolution Timeline' is 5 hours.

What is the lead time?

Ordering a proper connection takes approximately 60 working days (3 months) from the date the order is placed. Insome instances, it can be installed more quickly, where there is already fibre installed in your premises - this may be due to a previous tenant or another organisation in your building or locaity. Some years ago, BT Openreach used to install ISDN30 phone lines on fibre so that is sometimes the reason - where there is fibre, BT Openreach will see this as a 'Quick Win' and often will install a new fibre circuit more quickly than the standard 3 months.

How much does it cost?

Less than it used to!

Seriously, these connections are now a lot more affordable than they used to be.

Monthly rental charges start at around £450 per month and cost as much as £1,000 per month or more - all pricing is bespoke so contact us with your details and we will tell you what you can have and the likely costs.

You can elect to have just a 12 month contract. However, it is normally better to agree to a 3 or 5 year contract as there is often no installation cost (there always is on a 1 year contract) and the longer the contract the lower the monthly charges. Note that it is possible to get a quotation within 5 minutes from our sales team. However, quotations are subject to survey and excess costs may be introduced where there is no existing fibre in your premises. If the fibre is close by, there may be excess costs of a few hundred pounds or possibly a few thousand pounds (or much more if there is no fibre close to your premises). These costs are identified following a survey.

A survey can only be completed once you place your order. Therefore, the normal process is to place an order, await the survey and if the survey officer states there will be no excess costs then the order proceeds. If the survey officer identifies that there will be excess costs, then a week or so passes before the excess costs are noted - at this stage, you have the option to proceed or cancel if you feel the excess costs make the service unaffordable for you.

Note some suppliers choose to absorb some or all of the excess costs. If they do this, this means they are making lots of profit from your monthly payment! We prefer to quote a competitive monthly payment and if there are excess costs you just pay them if you wish.

We can normally tell you if there is likely to be excess costs once we have discussed your location and premises and/or made a short site visit to look for local fibre, either in your building or street. Typically excess costs do not exceed £2,000 where there is fibre outside your premises although every installation varies.

Note - as of June 1st 2014, we can now allow up to £2,800 worth of installation in terms of Excess Construction Charges - this means that, approximately 85% of installations will incur a zero cost!

What is exactly installed in my premises?

If there is currently no fibre, we micro manage the installation of new fibre option cabling. If there is fibre already, either a new 'tail' is located in your office space in the correct location from a nearby fibre junction point or sometimes an existing NTE (Network Terminating Equipment - line box in other words!) is utilised. The suppliers we use mostly use BT Openreach tails or sometimes Virgin Media tails. We never use Talk Talk tails (which are normally cheaper) as we see little point in using a cheaper solution which might be problematical - you get what you pay for!

A new fully managed Cisco router is configured and installed.

You then connect it to your network or we can do this for you. Note this does require a Firewall to be connected - we can do this also if you do not have the capability.

Can these types of leased lines be used for Voice as well as Data?


You can buy a service as 'Internet Only' which means you can use it for normal internet access (surfing, emails, etc).
You can also buy it as a 'converged' service which means that part of the bandwidth is reserved for voice - voice is prioritised to ensure that call quality is maintained. This 'converged' option costs a little more per month but this potentially replaces all or the majority of your normal telephone line rental so the business case often stacks up well.

When running voice on these types of connections, you often get better call rates, better functionality and improved service levels compared to traditional ISDN or analogue lines.

It is much better to use the same supplier for the Ethernet service and SIP trunks.

Here are the main benefits of SIP Trunks over ISDN:

  • Geography is irrelevant with SIP meaning your connection can be anywhere in the world using any number
  • SIP has auto failover options meaning if connections fail they can ring elsewhere automatically
  • SIP trunks can scale up and down instantly without having any engineering visits - much better than waiting for BT to install new lines!
  • SIP trunks can be re-configured remotely, very quickly.
  • Often lower call charges than ISDN
  • Free calls between SIP trunks
  • Publish/use/port/send any number - geographic, non-geo (08 etc), International
  • Record calls using SIP without capital investment in expensive equipment
  • Potentially a lot more!

To see if SIP is right for you, please call us.

Call us for advice!

01892 676000

What our customers say...

"From seamless installation to reliable maintenance and upgrades, First Office deliver. "
Mark Starns - SMP, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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