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leased line


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Definition: A leased line connects two locations for private voice and/or data telecommunication service. Not a dedicated cable, a leased line is actually a reserved circuit between two points. Leased lines can span short or long distances. They maintain a single open circuit at all times, as opposed to traditional telephone services that reuse the same lines for many different conversations through a process called "switching."

Leased lines most commonly are rented by businesses to connect branch offices, because these lines guarantee bandwidth for network traffic. So-called T1 leased lines are common and offer the same data rate as symmetric DSL (1.544 Mbps). Individuals can theoretically also rent leased lines for high-speed Internet access, but their high cost (often more than $1000 USD per month) deters most. Fractional T1 lines, starting at 128 Kbps, reduce this cost somewhat and can be found in some apartment buildings and hotels.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are an alternative technology to leased lines.

Also Known As: dedicated line

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