Leased Line vs FTTP: What's the Difference? | Neos Networks

Leased line vs FTTP: What's The Difference?

Neos Networks

When it comes to connectivity, it can be hard to navigate which service is best for your business. For example, a leased line could be better suited to a fast-growing company than Fibre To The Premise services (FTTP). Whether or not you should upgrade will depend on several factors, covered in this blog.

Read on to learn:

  • What FTTP and leased line actually means
  • How each works and their relative advantages
  • Which service to choose based on your business’s connectivity needs

What is FTTP and how does it work?

FTTP technology is a type of broadband service that is wired directly to residential or business premises using fibre optic cabling and can reach connectivity speeds up to 1Gbps, whilst Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) meanwhile routes optic cables into local cabinets - after which slower copper cabling takes over to route the connection to an individual premises, at speeds up to 100Gbps (but typically 80 Mbps).

Because FTTP uses pure fibre along the chosen route, it offers faster connectivity speeds than FTTC. This sounds promising - but you’ll still be sharing your line with other users. It’s worth bearing in mind that during busier periods, this could lead to slower connection speeds.

Alternatives to FTTP

The government aims to replace 85% of the UK’s decades-old copper network with full-fibre connectivity by 2025. This means that FTTC technology will be slowly phased out, in favour of faster and more dependable FTTP connections over the next few years.

So, what does the future look like? Another variation, Ethernet over Fibre To The Premise (EoFTTP) is now growing in popularity. It provides full-fibre end-to-end connectivity from the nearest exchange to a business's premises via a nearby street cabinet and can achieve average bandwidths of 330Mbps downstream and 220Mbps upstream. This is ideal for those who have come to rely on higher bandwidths and dedicated connectivity.

The government’s investment in a full-fibre future is welcome news, but EoFTTP’s price point could still prove challenging for small businesses used to the economical cost of shared broadband connections.

That being said, EoFTTP services are the closest you can get to a leased line without having to invest in your own dedicated full fibre connectivity. They offer greater capacity compared to the broadband counterpart, improved traffic prioritisation, and more robust Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Now let’s refocus on FTTP technology vs leased lines. How does data travel when using an FTTP connection?

FTTP data contention – why it happens

  • The first port of call for the data will be via fibre cable, then into a node located near your premises
  • Next, your information travels through shared infrastructure until it hits the public internet
  • Your data - and data sent by other users - will then combine meaning bandwidth is shared

When comparing leased lines vs FTTP, the issue of contention matters. Contention is where users share your bandwidth, leading to slower connection speeds during peak usage periods. Where FTTP is contended, a leased line instead provides a dedicated fibre optic service that connects directly to a customer’s premises - bypassing the need to share infrastructure and boosting connection speeds.

But does data contention mean FTTP is unsuitable for businesses? The answer depends on various factors - like the size of your business, the applications it uses, and whether 24/7 internet connectivity is essential.

Should you choose FTTP over leased lines? To understand which is better we need to look at how leased lines work.

What is a leased line?

A leased line provides users with a fast private internet connection that links two or more locations and is delivered by dedicated fibre optic cabling. The circuit is reserved exclusively for the subscriber, avoiding the need to share bandwidth with other users. Also, the line is open 24/7 at both ends to facilitate continuous service.

Because leased lines spread bandwidth evenly across uploads and downloads, speeds are consistent across the spectrum. This synchronous connection is not achievable with standard broadband, which allocates most bandwidth to downloads.

FTTP vs. Leased Line: what are the differences?

Leased lines provides users with a fast private internet connection that links two or more locations. FTTP is wired directly to a residential home or business using fibre optic cabling. If you’re struggling to compare leased lines vs FTTP then the following can help guide you:

Download speed and bandwidth

With FTTP you can achieve a download speed of 1Gbps. Comparatively, leased line customers enjoy connection speeds of circa 10Gbps - a huge jump up.

As mentioned earlier, leased lines are symmetrical. This means the upload and download speeds are always identical. This isn’t the case with FTTP services which are asymmetrical and could be less reliable on either upload or download times.


FTTP subscribers must share their line with other users - a term referred to as contention. This results in much slower speeds during peak periods.

Meanwhile leased line users enjoy a dedicated connection 24/7, instead of having to share with up to 32 other users all competing for their share of bandwidth.


Leased lines are closely monitored by service providers, meaning faults are spotted – and resolved – faster. This results in near-seamless connectivity that translates into less downtime.

FTTP connections aren’t as closely monitored, which is reflected in the lower cost. Therefore, faults aren’t picked up as quickly. Subscribers may wait days for an issue to be rectified, which is a problem if you run a business that requires round-the-clock connectivity.

Pricing and contracts

When weighing up the pros and cons of FTTP vs leased lines, you’ll have to take costs and contracts into consideration. Leased lines are pricier than FTTP – the latter being aimed at small to growing businesses and residential customers. For leased lines, construction work is sometimes needed to re-route a line to premises which is an additional factor that may affect the cost.

Contracts for FTTP range from 12-24 months. Leased line agreements are usually a minimum of 12-months but sometimes as long as 60-months.

Leased line vs FTTP - which is best for you?

Can your business afford prolonged periods of downtime? If days without an internet connection could jeopardise customer relationships and profits, a monitored leased line that’s faster to fix is best.

The size of your business and how its employees use the internet matters too. Do you employ 10 people or less? Do your teams use the internet infrequently and for basic tasks? If so, an FTTP service with variable connection speed will meet your requirements in full.

Price will determine which side you take in the FTTP vs leased line debate. Although leased lines are arguably better, this quality comes at a premium - so you should weigh the additional expense against long-term benefits.

Less downtime could prevent missed sales, protect customer relationships, and boost profits. So, you’d probably recoup the money you invested and more.

Still undecided and need some help?

Reach out to one of our experts. We’ll unpack the FTTP vs leased line debate further, so you can fully understand the benefits of each and make a more informed decision.

We also compare FTTP and FTTC in another article if you're looking for further insight.

You might also like

  • Page

What is EoFTTx

We can connect you anywhere in the UK

Discover our network reach

Check your connectivity