Bonding of ADSL lines to create faster downstream and upstream links is nothing new and a number of providers already do this to give people the speeds they want at a fraction of the price of a traditional leased line.
Until now, bonding has been an activity not supported by BT Wholesale, but this is set to change with the SharedBand bonding software that BT Wholesale is selling.
Bonding for those that don't know is the process of joining several broadband connections (ADSL, wireless, cable, leased line), for example four 2Mbps Max ADSL lines bonded give an 8Mbps downstream and 1.6Mbps upstream. The difficult area is splitting a single download over the four lines. Some bonding solutions simply load balance, i.e. any single download will only go at the speed of one line, but multiple downloads are possible.
"The average loop length in the US is a lot bigger than it is here, so a lot of people get very poor speeds,
In fact, the UK is one of the tougher markets to launch in.
The problem now is the upstream speed. New applications, such as VoIP, remote backup and VPNs, require upstream bandwidth that is just not available with standard broadband."Keith Collins (Sales and Marketing Director), SharedBand
Interestingly, the client end software resides in the ADSL router, and the Netgear DG834 range seems to be the device they are working with currently. The company was founded by Paul Evans in 2003, who had previously led the Internet Infrastructure lab at BT. The original article is over on TechWorld.com and the US market which SharedBand are looking to break into is covered by TelephonyOnline.com.
How successful this venture is will depend greatly on the price, and whether consumers and small businesses opt for Annex M ADSL2+ which offers upload speeds of around 2Mbps by sacrificing a small amount of downstream speed. Be offer the high upstream product on its Be Pro product for £22 a month, and companies like UK Online Premier Broadband offer a 1Mbps upload for £24.99 a month. Many parts of the UK don't have the ADSL2+ options currently so for those wanting extra speed now - bonding is perhaps the most cost effective route.