Leased lines, which are optical fibre connections, are by far the most reliable and powerful broadband solutions available to commercial buildings.
Offering unbeatable bandwidth (lines offering a full Gigabit connection are now routinely available, and 10 Gigabit lines are no longer a rarity), they are however significantly more expensive than all other broadband products out there, easily going into the hundreds of pounds a month.
Additionally, contrary to the typical preference of commercial building managers to opt for short-term contracts (rolling monthly or, at worst, annual), they are almost never sold on less than a 3 year contract and 5 year contracts are often seen.
For that reason, they have been the go-to solution for larger sites which both have the service charge budget, and a full team with requirements for reliable connectivity. In other instances however, they are the only choice available in areas of poor connectivity – a cheap ADSL broadband may be available pretty much everywhere, but speeds may, and will, vary considerably.
Here is the thing though: in the 3 to 5 years or more you have been locked in your contract, a lot of technical progress has been made, and particularly two options are opened to you to considerably reduce your connectivity costs:
Fibre to the Cabinet, or FTTC, is essentially a shared fibre connection. Where a leased line is an exclusive connection going straight to the Internet Service Provider (what is called a 1:1 Contention Ratio), and Broadband ADSL (and to a lesser degree, VDSL, a variation) is shared with up to 50 other clients (making it less reliable and much slower), FTTC is a fibre compromise that offers very fast connectivity to a local distribution point, where the line then uses your existing copper telephone lines to reach you guarantees you a minimum download and upload speeds.
As a result, an FTTC line, which is sold on a 12 months contract only, can easily deliver you speeds of 80 megabytes per second for a fraction of the cost of a leased line, and takes almost no work at all to implement.
- The price of leased line connectivity has come down drastically
If you took your contract, say, 5 years ago, we wouldn’t be surprised if your broadband budget was of the order of £350/month, give or take. It could be much more.
Get this. The same supplier you currently pay, will now offer the same product to your neighbours for a fraction of that cost. Once your contract runs out, you will keep paying your £350 or more every month when next door they may be paying as little as £150.
ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS PLACE ONE PHONE CALL!
Changing supplier is a hard choice, because installing a new line takes time. However, threatening to change supplier will be enough for you to make huge savings! All you need to do is call them and offer to sign up again for a further 3 years and ask what price they could give you. It is even better if you have gotten some competing offers first, to validate their offer.
That one phone call will take you perhaps 10-20 minutes, and could generate you savings of £2,000 or more.
If your IT provider is supplying you with your broadband, they should proactively offer this service to you approximately 3 to 6 months before your contract is due to expire. If they are not, you should ask them why.