Whether it’s high-speed internet access, the assurance of uninterrupted data streams for communications and business continuity, or the need to better manage your finances and infrastructure, your business can benefit from making the switch to fibre optic leased lines.
We’ll go into the “Hows” and “Whys” of that in a bit, but first…
What’s Fibre Optics?
Fibre optics is a term used to describe the science and hardware of data transmission via fibre optics cables or optical fibres. These are tubes consisting of a thin glass core surrounded by a transparent cladding material that refracts or bounces light differently.
The fibre is illuminated at each end by a laser and a rule of physics known as total internal refraction which ensures that no light is lost in bouncing between the core and the cladding.
With what are essentially uninterrupted light beams, fibre optics enables the transmission of data over very long distances – and at extremely high transmission rates.
Continuous sections of fibre optics cable can be up to 100km in length, and a single optical strand can transmit somewhere in the region of 25,000 phone calls. When you consider that each fibre optics cable may consist of dozens or even hundreds of strands, you’ll get some idea of how much information they’re capable of transmitting.
And Leased Lines?
Dedicated or leased lines connect your business to the internet via a dedicated fibre optics connection. For a certain rental fee, you get a private connection to the network, which guarantees consistent data transfer speeds all day. A leased line connection is symmetrical – meaning that upload and download speeds are the same.
Leased lines are typically private, high-performance circuits offered on a rental basis by a common carrier between a business and a service provider’s network. Rental is usually on an annual basis, with monthly payments. Though mainly used for internet access (internet leased lines), dedicated lines may also be used privately between two of a company’s physical sites (Point to Point leased lines).
Although setting up a leased line circuit isn’t necessarily cheap, for businesses that don’t want to be at the mercy of a shared communications/data connection (such as a consumer ISP) and require guaranteed high data speeds and throughput, fibre optic leased lines are a great option. They also extend several benefits that can help you in optimising your business operations.
Faster & More Efficient Data Transfer
Fibre optic leased lines can provide data transfer speeds of anywhere between 10Mbps (Megabits per second) to 1Gbps (Gigabit per second) – in both upload and download directions. Compare this with a typical British ADSL connection which offers only 12Mbps downstream, and around 1Mbps upstream, and there’s a clear advantage.
Speed is only part of the equation. Consistency of the data stream counts almost as much – especially for the transmission of large files or continuous volumes of separate documents, and the assurance of unbroken packet streams for smooth audio and video. This consistency depends on the amount of time it takes information to travel to a server and back again – a condition known as latency, which it’s best to keep as low as possible.
Leased fibre optics connections offer ultra-low latency – assuring business users of consistent transfer rates for uploads and downloads, and speeds capable of ensuring the fast and efficient movement of information to branch offices, cloud servers, or remote data centres.
Guarding Your Privacy
A leased line is reserved exclusively for the private customer who rents it. So, business users are assured of complete oversight and governance of the information that passes through their network connection. This addresses concerns over intellectual property, customer data, and other sensitive information that an enterprise wouldn’t want vulnerable to the dangers of a shared or public network.
It also makes it easier for administrators, managers, and security officers to monitor activity on their corporate networks – and as fibre optic leased lines are significantly more secure than standard DSL connections, this provides auditors and regulators with the kind of secure documentation and audit trails necessary for regulatory compliance.
Uniting Your Network
A process known as Multiprotocol Label Switching or MPLS makes it possible to construct a fibre optic leased line network or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) between multiple nodes. These may include branch offices, data centres, or the devices of individual workers in remote locations.
So a single self-contained network can connect your entire enterprise “campus” – whether it’s in several buildings, in the cloud, or distributed across the devices of a mobile workforce. And with your company being the sole customer on a dedicated line, there’s much less chance of transmission speeds slowing down during peak demand, or sources outside the enterprise causing interference on the line.
Enhanced Voice & Video
If video chat or conferencing are crucial to your operations, a fibre optic leased line offers distinct advantages in speed and smoothness of transmission over an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) system.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology makes it possible to combine your leased line network with Session Initiation Protocol or SIP trunking in a single system that can carry telephone calls, video conferencing streams and data traffic from a Wide Area Network or WAN.
Better Cost Management
By combining a fibre optic leased line network with SIP trunking, charges for telephony and internet connectivity are also combined into a single account. This makes the service more cost-effective, and easier to monitor and manage.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs), for fibre optic leased lines typically come with strict guarantees on service uptime (usually of the order of 99.9%), together with assurances on the time taken to fix major connectivity issues – which is usually within one working day.
24/7 monitoring and Technical Support from the service provider is now common, and in a market where advances in optical networking are continuing to force down the price of dedicated connections, a fibre optic leased line is an attractive option for businesses seeking a fast and reliable network connection.
If you have any further questions about fibre optic leased lines, or would like to enquire about setting it up in your own business, get in touch with the telephony experts at LG Networks today.