A private telecommunications circuit is used to connect two or more premises to give a required quality of service and/or to save costs. They are classed as “private” because they comprise resources that are usually exclusively allocated to their owner.
Private circuits are also known as leased lines because they are usually rented (ie leased) from telecommunication service providers such as BT. However, this is not always the case since private circuits can also be implemented using privately owned facilities such as cable or (more likely) radio connections.
[NB The term leased-line is also used to refer to a private connection to the public internet.]
Private circuits can also be implemented using a combination of rented public services and privately owned facilities.
There is also a third type of private circuit which is known as a virtual private circuit. These are created from standard internet connections and consequently use shared resources. Nevertheless, they look like “real” private circuit in terms of creating a dedicated point-to-point or point-to-multipoint secure connection.
Virtual private circuits are particularly useful for low demand connections where a “real” private circuit can’t be justified on cost grounds. Examples of virtual private circuits would be connections to employee homes or for road warriors who need to connect to the enterprise network from a variety of locations such as hotel rooms.
Most private circuits are now usually justified by an organisation on the basis of creating essential data communications connections. The relatively low cost of public telephone calls make it unlikely that a private circuit could be justified solely to carry an organisation’s voice telephony traffic.
In fact voice telephony traffic is now usually digitised and becomes part of the overall data communications traffic mix. Very little additional bandwidth is required for telephone traffic (typically between 50 Kb/s and 100 Kb/s), although there are service issues to consider such as the low latency required to enable a satisfactory real-time telephone conversation to take place.
In the pages that can be accessed from the menu above (or the links below) we consider the service and cost characteristics of the different types of private circuit solutions that can be installed between two sites:
- virtual private circuits;
- circuits rented from public service providers; and
- circuits implemented using privately owned facilities.
Get in touch with us if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.