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What is a BT Leased Line? (BTnet)

What is a BT Leased Line? (BTnet)

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A BT leased line - known as BTnet - is a dedicated fibre circuit which is connected from your premises to BT's network. While leased line services are all broadly similar, there are some reasons to consider BT leased lines vs their competitors. In this article, we'll answer the question 'What is a BT Leased Line?' with an outline of how each feature will benefit your business vs SOGEA or FTTP Broadband.

How do BT leased lines compare with Broadband?

While Broadband may now offer similar download speeds, BTnet leased lines provide a dedicated circuit that is installed directly to your business with symmetrical upload and download speeds. As the BTnet service is a dedicated connection, you are not sharing the service with other customers at the circuit level which helps improve latency and jitter at the same time as avoiding congestion. Broadband customers connect to an aggregated bandwidth point which is shared and engineered across their customer base. In comparison, BT leased lines do not shared connectivity between customers.

As you will read in this article, BTnet offers the option of Meraki Cybersecurity which includes malware protection, breach detection, firewall capability, content filtering, web filtering and endpoint protection. And while BT Broadband does offer security, the features are not comparable to Meraki.

  BT Leased Lines BT Broadband
Bandwidth Dedicated and uncontended Shared with other users
Speeds Symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) Asymmetrical (higher download speeds vs upload)
Reliability and Uptime High (with SLAs) Varies
Scalability High (easy to upgrade bandwidth) Depends on the package
Security High (private connection) Included Norton™ Security
Cost Higher More affordable
Wi-Fi Coverage Depends on setup Complete Wi-Fi coverage

Read: Leased Lines vs Broadband

What is the BT leased line target SLA availability?

BTnet aims for 100% target availability with 24/7 support if general support is required for the leased line service. Their aim is to fix faults within five hours regardless of the time of day or night. If an outage occurs, BT provide a money-back credit as part of their commitment to maintaining their 100% target service level availability.

It is worth knowing that the maximum compensation in a quarter is capped at the equivalent of ten days rental charge. If you order resilient circuits and experience an outage, BT will adjust the rental charges for both your main and backup connections.

In terms of installation lead-time SLA, BT will confirm the CCD (Committed Delivery Date) once they have completed your initial site survey. The site survey is conducted by Openreach to understand the level of work required to deliver your BTnet circuit. In some instances, excess construction charges (ECC's) may apply depending on the engineering tasks needed to install your leased line. Any ECC's are disclosed at site survey stage - at this point, you can cancel the service without penalties if the costs are too high.

In the case of complex deliveries, BT may not be able to provide a CCD. Instead, they'll will provide you with an expected completion date (ECD) - note that these scenarios are not covered by the BT service level agreement (SLA).

BT consider the service delivered once they have provided the managed customer premises equipment (CPE) with configuration and service tests to ensure the circuit is connected. If BT fail to meet the CCD, they will provide on-time delivery service credits. This means you will receive a discount on the connection charge based on the delay in delivery. The reduction in connection charges will be as follows:

Delay (Working Days) BT Compensation
1-10 5%
11-15 10%
16-20 15%
More than 20 20%

Note: you must submit a claim within 28 days of the CCD, quoting your customer order reference number (PIP number).

What support do BT leased lines offer? BTnet support is provided via their dedicated phone line on 0808 100 2440 which is available 24/7.

What Cybersecurity is offered with BT leased lines?

One of the options for BTnet leased lines is Meraki Cybersecurity which has fast become essential due to the rise of cyber threats and data breaches-robust security measures are crucial for any business.

BT with Meraki offers malware protection to protect your network from harmful software that could compromise your data or cause general disruption. The BTnet Meraki malware capability is constantly monitoring for potential threats at the same time as providing real-time protection and alerts so your business can take immediate action to mitigate any risks.

In addition to BTnet malware protection, Cisco Meraki Security also includes breach detection capabilities. This means that any breaches in your network security will be quickly detected which enables you to respond and take action as required. By identifying potential threats on an almost realtime basis, you can minimise the impact and prevent any further damage.

Another important feature of BTnet Cisco Meraki Security is its firewall capability. The Meraki firewall prevents unauthorised access to your network by blocking specific traffic based on type - e.g. port number or application type.

BTnet Meraki Security offers content filtering and web filtering features allowing you to control access to potentially harmful websites and content which ensures that your employees are only accessing safe and appropriate content during work hours.

With BYoD (Bring your own device), Cisco Meraki Security is necessary to secure endpoints which includes mobiles, tablets and laptops. The Meraki capability is designed to secure entry points so that all devices are protected against potential vulnerabilities.

With malware protection, breach detection, firewall capability, content filtering, web filtering and endpoint protection, Meraki offers a complete security solution in partnership with BTnet leased lines.

Security Feature Description
Protection Against Malware The Meraki provides protection against malware to help you ensure data is not compromised.
Breach Detection The system is designed to detect any breaches in your network security which provides the ability to respond when threats occur.
Firewall Capability The Meraki firewall blocks unauthorised access to your network.
Content Filtering Web filtering controls access to potentially harmful websites and content.
Web Filtering This is a component of Broadband and BTnet (with Meraki) which helps mitigate risks by controlling access to potentially harmful websites and content.
Endpoint Protection secures endpoints across end-user devices including mobile, tablets, laptops or any device.

Read: BT PDF on Cybersecurity

What SLA do BT Leased Lines offer?

BTnet offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees 100% availability of the service, subject to the terms of the agreement. If there is an outage, BTnet will reduce your rental charge for the service by one day's rental charge per hour of downtime. The maximum reduction applied per quarter will be capped at ten hours of outage which is equivalent to ten days' rental charge for your service.

BTnet also guarantees an average round-trip transmission time of 20 milliseconds or less between BT core PoPs (Point of Presence).  For the transatlantic network connection, the latency guarantee is an average round-trip transmission time of 95 milliseconds or less between designated transit routers at each end of the transatlantic link.

If BTnet does not meet the latency guarantee for two consecutive months, they will provide a discount equivalent to one day's rental charge for your service.

Table of Key Points

Key Point Description
Target availability 100%
Outage reduction One day's rental charge per hour of downtime.
Maximum outage reduction Ten hours per quarter.
Latency guarantee 20 milliseconds for UK core network connection.
Latency guarantee 95 milliseconds for transatlantic network connection.
Discount for missed latency guarantee One day's rental charge.
Claims process Reduction in rental charges.
Exceptions Site outside BT's licensed area, fault on your network, or suspension of service.

How does Cloud Voice (VoIP) work with BT leased lines?

BT leased lines offer a dedicated and symmetrical connection, meaning that the upload and download speeds are the same (unlike Broadband). This ensures that even if upstream bandwidth is constrained, your Cloud Voice calls are not. impacted. In addition, the performance of leased lines offers the best possible latency and jitter with the BTnet 100% uptime guarantee.

One key enabler to Cloud Voice is the ability to prioritise voice traffic which also ensures optimal call quality. BTnet QoS positions businesses to allocate a specific percentage of bandwidth for voice traffic which translates to a consistent calling experience. This ensures that voice calls are given priority over other types of internet traffic, such as file downloads or video streaming.

What bandwidth options are available with BT leased lines?

BT provides scalable bandwidth options that allow businesses to easily adjust their connection speed as requirements evolve. BTnet leased lines offer lower bandwidth options starting from as low as 100 Mbps through to load balanced 10 Gbps circuits.

If your business demands more bandwidth due to larger team sizes, frequent use of cloud applications or the need for high-quality video conferencing, BTnet leased lines also provide higher bandwidth options with the flexibility to tailor their connection to their specific needs. This ensures that you are not paying for more bandwidth than you require or experiencing any performance issues due to insufficient capacity.

Is load-balancing available with BT leased lines?

BT leased lines offer load balancing options to help businesses optimise their network by distributing network traffic evenly across dual leased lines. If one leased line experiences an outage, the traffic can be automatically redirected to other available line which ensures uninterrupted connectivity.

We touched on this within the Cloud Voice section earlier, BTnet is also available with Meraki Intelligent single site SD WAN which enables your business to prioritise certain types of traffic, i.e. Voice vs Email. This ensures that critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and quality of service to deliver a smooth and seamless user experience.

What BT leased line resilient and diverse options are available?

The first resilience option (RA01) offered by BT encompasses a service that includes a dual fibre connection with auto-changeover hardware. This service ensures uninterrupted customer service by automatically rerouting network traffic to an alternate fibre service via a distinct routing path within 50 milliseconds should there be a fibre failure.

The second resilience option (RA02) provided by BT comprises a resilience service that features two distinct connections commissioned using end-to-end path separation. This service guarantees continuous customer service by maintaining functionality even in the event of a fibre and/or hardware failure.

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