ADSL broadband versus a dedicated leased line

commercial property CCTV control room

140-year old infrastructure, what could possibly go wrong?

Today, parts of the UK’s copper telephone network are over 140-years old. That’s why in 2025, BT Openreach will retire all analogue telephone and broadband services. In fact, you will not be able to place orders for these services from 2023. Instead, IP technology will carry voice and data services over the Internet. For many organisations, fast-fibre broadband and Cloud telephony are already the preferred methods for business communications.

Service comparison at a glance


  • Old technology
  • Reliant on soon-to-be-retired copper cable
  • Low-cost
  • Limited bandwidth
  • Slow upload speeds
  • Shared service, slow at peak-times
  • Sensitive to physical and environmental interference
  • Service retarded by distance to the exchange.

Leased line

  • Dedicated service, not shared
  • Greater bandwidth
  • Faster connection
  • Equally fast upload and download speeds
  • Flexible use
  • Adopt latest IP teleology such as Cloud telephony
  • Reliable, resilient and secure
  • Value-based pricing.
ADSL versus leased line guide


The first ADSL broadband (asymmetric digital subscriber line) services were launched in March 2000. Two decades later, ADSL broadband is showing its age. In many cases, ADSL continues to provide an adequate service for residential and small business users. However, low-cost ADSL broadband can often cause more problems than it is worth.

The problem with cables

Unfortunately, there are numerous reasons why your ADSL broadband service might be slow and frustratingly unreliable. The conduit and/or cables in the street between your business and the local exchange might be damaged. Similarly, one of the most common causes of an intermittent broadband service is poor quality or faulty wiring to be found within many buildings.

The CCTV conundrum solved

Many commercial premises choose low-cost ADSL to carry the video feed for their CCTV. However, it is often a false economy. After all, why invest in a high-tech CCTV system and underfund your connectivity? The upload speed of ADSL broadband is significantly slower than the download speed. The download speed will determine how quickly you can browse the Internet, but the pitifully slow upload speed will constantly cause your bandwidth hungry CCTV system problems. A poorly configured router can make a bad situation worse. ADSL broadband is also very sensitive to environmental interference. Therefore, ironically, your alarm system might interfere with the broadband for your CCTV.

A matter of contention

ADSL is as a contended service, which means that you share the broadband infrastructure with your neighbours. At peak times, when everyone is online, your broadband speeds will slow to a crawl. Electrical equipment, plant machinery and anything that sends or receives a radio signal can cause broadband interference. Finally, the location of your business premises can also negatively affect your broadband service. Unfortunately, the greater the distance between your business and the local exchange the worse your ADSL service is likely to be.

Leased line

Many Modern Networks customers prefer a leased line connection to replace ADSL. A leased line is a dedicated, fixed-bandwidth, symmetric data connection. Don’t worry, we’ll explain what all that jargon means and why you might benefit from moving to a leased line.

Fit for multiple purposes

A leased line can be used for a variety of different purposes. You can connect to the Internet; create a computer network; carry phone calls; and enable staff to work remotely from home.

Dedicated service

Unlike ADSL, a leased line is a dedicated connection. You don’t share your bandwidth with anyone else.

Fast, reliable, secure

A leased line is a much faster, symmetric connection than ADSL. You get the same upload and download speeds. This is useful if you want to upload lots of high-resolution CCTV footage, for example. It’s also very handy if you want to backup data to the Cloud, send large files, host your own website and benefit from adopting Internet telephony. Leased lines are also much more reliable and resilient.

Why pay more?

Of course, you will pay a little more for a leased line. Prices will vary dependent upon how much bandwidth you want, your location and length of contract. However, the small additional cost of a leased line is easily outweighed by the benefits such as increased productivity, reliability and security.

For more information about our range of business broadband services, contact Modern Networks today.

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