Our jargon busting blog is primarily for our business clients this month (although individuals with very deep pockets might also be interested!). This time, we'll be looking at leased lines.
In very basic terms, a leased line is a data connection between two points. This could be an office and an ISP, or an office and another office. The connection is dedicated (I.e. no-one else is using it). It is also symmetric (I.e. the download speed is the same as the upload speed).
So why would you want a leased line? The case we are most frequently presented with in which a leased line is a good solution is for businesses with a poor connection to the internet (slow speeds, frequent dropouts) that are finding that as more and more services move online (including things like VOIP phone systems), they're losing time and money trying to keep their business running over this connection.
Investing in a leased line guarantees a certain speed at all times with a guaranteed SLA in the case that the connection drops. It is also possible to set up a backup line in parallel with the leased line so that even in the very rare case of a loss of connection over the leased line, services can (depending on the provider and level of service) seamlessly fail over to the backup, and the connection is maintained.
As far as the speeds are concerned, you can pay for various levels, but the connections we deal with are generally at the speeds you will see on residential fibre broadband connections.
Of course, as you would expect, you will pay a premium for a dedicated service like this compared to a standard ADSL / Fibre connection. There's also generally a waiting time of a couple of months or so, as the installation requires physical work to be done to provide the connecition initially.