Today, businesses of all sizes are heavily reliant on their internet connection as this may carry their IT data, their web browsing, their cloud telephony and support their on-line back-ups.

We are frequently asked what the best type of internet connection for a business and specifically, what the differences are between broadband and a leased line.


Contention is the number of users that maybe sharing a circuit – or in effect competing for it!

This isn’t just people within your own organisation; contention refers to others who maybe sharing the broadband circuit you use and this is very common with broadband connections.

When you’re sharing a network connection with others, you’ll always be competing with them for bandwidth. This means that essentially, your connection is being divided by the number of those using it. The simplest and least expensive way to avoid slow internet speeds caused by contention, is to use the internet at off-peak times when you are downloading large files or using the internet heavily. However, this is not always easy and practical.

Broadband is not a dedicated connection and therefore you share your connection with many others, competing for bandwidth. A leased line is a dedicated connection and therefore, there is no contention at all. Leased lines connect directly to the local exchange and therefore, they don’t share bandwidth with local residents or any other businesses.

Connection Speeds

Leased lines tend to get faster connection speeds when compared to a traditional broadband connection. However in addition, they provide symmetrical connection speeds. This means that the download speed and the upload speed are the same. With a traditional broadband connection, the download speed is usually a lot faster than the upload speed. The quicker the upload speed, the better the online experience will be and the easier it will be to upload data to the internet. This is particularly useful if you have a high number of users or you utilise cloud technology. Large off-site backups can take many hours over a traditional broadband connection, but can be much faster across a leased line.

A leased line connection will also be fixed, so you get exactly what you pay for, whereas with broadband, providers are only required to provide ‘best efforts’.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Service level Agreements, or SLAs, come as standard with leased lines, but not with broadband connections. A Service Level Agreement is a minimum standard that you can expect from your provider. This means that your provider will define how long fixes will take before you are due a pre-defined refund or compensation.

You have no guarantees as to the time any fix will take when it comes to broadband, and you’re not always due a refund or compensation in the event of an outage or loss of service.

For any business, we would almost always recommend a leased line over broadband. Whilst this costs more and often commits you into a longer contract term, the benefits can far outweigh the costs.

A dedicated leased line supported by SLA’s means you will have a robust internet connection that can be relied on.

If you would like to learn more about broadband and Leased Lines and how they may help your business, Time Communications would be happy to talk you through the options and answer your questions.

Our experts are available on 0113 2059640 or at [email protected] or message us here.