In some situations an organisation should consider implementing a private circuit using their own facilities rather than those rented from a public telecommunications service provider.
In most cases this would not be a viable option, but it is an option that should always be considered as there can be significant opportunities for cost saving and/or service improvement.
The technology options for providing a privately owned circuit are cable or radio.
A cable connection would only be an option if a private circuit is required between two buildings on the same site or possibly between buildings on nearby sites. In the latter case it would be necessary to obtain wayleave permissions to cross public roads or property owned by third parties.
Unless the organisation is a utility company such as a rail or a water company it is unlikely that they would own the land necessary to implement privately owned cable connections on a widespread basis.
It is more likely that privately owned radio links would be the only viable option for creating a private circuit connection.
A radio link could only be used to connect two buildings that have a direct “line-of-sight” between them. In such cases the antennae would be installed on the roof of each building and would be pointed at each other to create the connection.
If there is no direct line-of-sight between the two buildings then it might be possible to relay the radio signal via antennae on a third building (assuming that each building has a line-of-sight to the third building). This would of course require permission from the owner of the third building and probably some form of payment.
There are in fact many individual privately owned radio masts across the country that offer relay services that could be used for implementing inter-building microwave based private circuits. There are even networks of radio relay masts covering the country such as the network owned by Arqiva.
It is therefore possible to have a private radio link connecting buildings that are in different parts of the country by renting space space on (say) Arqiva’s national network of radio masts. It would be possible, but unusual, for an organisation to own the microwave dishes on all the Arqiva masts required for the end-to-end link. It would be more usual for an organsation to own the dishes at each end of the link and then ask Arqiva to provide the required connection between the endpoints.
There is one other type of radio connection that should be mentioned and that is satellite. A satellite based radio connection is similar to the microwave relay connection described above, except that the relay station is a satellite orbiting the earth. To implement a privately owned satellite circuit it would be necessary to rent space on the satellite from a company such as Inmarsat rather than a building owner or a radio mast company.
A satellite based private circuit could be used to provide national or international private circuits as long as each end of the link is within the satellite’s “footprint”.
The availability of mobile satellite dishes that can be mounted on vehicles makes a satellite connection ideal for a reporter broadcasting from an overseas location or for coverage of sports events. It is possible to get very small satellite dishes that can be easily moved to different locations.
A satellite connection can also be used to provide private circuits to locations where there are no conventional telecommunication services or line-of-sight connections to radio masts. All that a satellite based private circuit would need is a dish pointed at the required satellite that is in a fixed orbit round the earth, just like the familiar satellite dishes used for receiving Sky television.
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.