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A leased line is a symmetric telecommunications line connecting two locations. It is sometimes known as a 'Private Circuit' or 'Data Line' in the UK. Unlike traditional PSTN lines it does not have a telephone number, each side of the line being permanently connected to the other. Leased lines can be used for telephone, data or Internet services. Some are ringdown services, and some connect two PBXes.

A permanent telephone connection between two points set up by a telecommunications common carrier. Typically, leased lines are used by businesses to connect geographically distant offices. Unlike dial-up connections, a leased line is always active. The fee for the connection is a fixed monthly rate. The primary factors affecting the monthly fee are distance between end points and the speed of the circuit. Because the connection doesn't carry anybody else's communications, the carrier can assure a given level of quality.

For example, a T-1 channel can be leased, and provides a maximum transmission speed of 1.544 Mbps. The user can divide the connection into different lines for multiplexing data and voice communication, or use the channel for one high speed data circuit. Increasingly, leased lines are being used by companies, and even individuals, for Internet access because they afford faster data transfer rates and are cost-effective for heavy users of the Internet.

Contents

History

Availability

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In the United Kingdom

In the U.K., leased lines are available at speeds from 64Kb/s increasing in 64Kb/s increments to 2Mb/s over a channelised E1 tail circuit. The NTE will terminate the circuit and provide the requested presentation most frequently X.21 however higher speed interfaces are available such as G.703 or 10baseT. Some ISPs however use the term more loosely, defining a leased line as “any dedicated bandwidth service delivered over a leased fibre connection”[1]

In the United States

In the U.S., low-speed leased lines (56 kbit/s and below) are usually provided using analog modems. Higher-speed leased lines are usually presented using FT1 (Fractional T1): a T1 bearer circuit with 1 to 24 56k or 64k timeslots. Customers must manage their own network termination equipment—Channel Service Unit and Data Service Unit (CSU/DSU).

In Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, leased lines are usually available at speeds of 64k, 128k, 256k, 512k, T1 (channelized or not) or E1 (less common). Whatever the speed, telcos usually provide the CSU/DSU and present to the customer on V.35 interface.

In India

In India, leased lines are available at speeds of 64k, 128k, 256k, 512k, T1 or E1. Customers are connected either through OFC, telephone lines ADSL, or through Wifi. Customers would have to manage their own network termination equipment, namely the Channel service unit and Data service unit.

For many purposes, leased lines are gradually being replaced by DSL and metro Ethernet.

Leased line alternatives

Leased lines are more expensive than alternative connectivity services including (ADSL, SDSL, etc.) because they are reserved exclusively to the leaseholder. Some internet service providers have therefore developed alternative products that aim to deliver leased-line type services (Carrier Ethernet-based, zero contention, guaranteed availability), with more moderate bandwidth, over the standard UK national broadband network - see Internet in the United Kingdom [2]

See also

References

  1. ^ UK ISP leased line product information UK Leased Lines information - Easynet Connect - May 2009
  2. ^ Etherstream - Leased Line alternative EtherStream alternative to Leased Line - Easynet Connect - May 2009

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