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DSL/vectoring/G.fast

Brit Startup Bonds Broadband

"We have developed management interfaces to make sure this is easy to roll out," says Sharedband CEO Paul Evans. "We've been working with ISPs for the past nine months to make sure our system meets their needs" before announcing a full-scale launch.

"We have to be sure we are meeting market needs -- we don't have the money for a false start," he adds. Sharedband is privately funded, with total backing of "way less than £1 million."

Market incentives
Evans, who ran the Internet Infrastructure Lab (IIL) at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) prior to setting up Sharedband in 2003, says his company's software is supplied free to ISPs, which then sign up for a revenue-sharing agreement based on Sharedband service usage. The technology has been trialed by a handful of ISPs in the U.K. and has been used commercially by at least one, Warrington, England-based Talk Internet.

Evans believes the lack of expensive hardware and upfront cost, and the potential to sell additional broadband connections and business services, should generate interest among ISPs. "Other line-bonding technologies require expensive hardware at the customer's and ISP's premises, and then restricts the customer to a single operator's broadband service. Our technology does the bonding at the IP layer, so it doesn't require any additional hardware. It's designed to be a plug-and-play technology, and doesn't need an IT engineer on site the way other bonded technologies do," says the CEO.

Simon Jones, managing director at Talk Internet, which is marketing the service as an ADSL bonding solution, believes the startup's development work has paid off.

"It's very straightforward. We ship the routers to our users, they plug them in. and away they go. It's that simple. It does what it says on the tin. We have a handful of customers using it at the moment, including one that has bought more broadband connections so it can bond four lines together. We have sold more lines as a result," says Jones.

He says the additional cost, on top of broadband line charges, of subscribing to the Sharedband service is about an extra 10 percent to 35 percent to the end customer, depending on the setup, and that the main driver for demand so far is to increase upstream capacity to enable offsite backup of company data.

While not revealing any financial details about potential revenue-sharing agreements with ISPs or sales targets, Evans notes that the U.K.'s small businesses and home offices currently account for around 1 million of Britain's 14 million broadband connections, and that Sharedband believes between 20 and 30 percent of those users "would be looking for an affordable solution like this… This brings resilient, fast communications to the masses, enabling small businesses to gain the services benefits of large companies at a price they can afford."

Evans and his 13 staff aren't limiting themselves to the U.K. market. Two of the startup's employees are based in Seattle, and Sharedband plans to launch itself in North America during January 2008, though Evans won't confirm if a partner similar to BT Wholesale has been signed up for that market. "It's a different market to the U.K., but we are going indirect where we can," says the CEO.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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martin hill 12/5/2012 | 3:48:12 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband we are currently searching for bonded adsl for 5 adsl lines and have come accross a piece of hardware from a company called xrio which does isp bonding for bonded adsl and vpn. for the price you pay it also lets you do load balancing and qos which seem a bit more cost efficient. currently trialling it at the moment and seems perfect so far.
Myself248 12/5/2012 | 2:57:42 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband In one paragraph "it doesn't require any additional hardware", in the next paragraph "We ship the routers to our users, they plug them in. and away they go."
Myself248 12/5/2012 | 2:57:42 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband In one paragraph "it doesn't require any additional hardware", in the next paragraph "We ship the routers to our users, they plug them in. and away they go."
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:57:42 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband
Your comment about broadly available upgrades is not accurate....From the Sharedband website:

Sharedband software is suitable for working with most types of broadband connections. The current version of upgrade firmware is available for the following supported devices:

* Netgear ADSL modem router, DG834 v2 and v3
* Netgear wireless ADSL modem router DG834g v2 and v3
* Linksys wireless router WRT54GL

So, there are exactly 5 routers that can be used. I am sure more are coming, but it is not broadly available today.

seven
larytet 12/5/2012 | 2:57:41 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband Re software solution:
If IP bonding is required user can connect two absolutely standard DSL or cable modems and run a Linux box as a gateway - Linux NAT knows to do load balancing including support of advanced routing protocols. No changes in the ISP office is required. User can use services from different ISPs and so on.

Re software IP based solution:
what about traffic which is not tolerant to delay, like E1 ?

Re "lack of expensive hardware and upfront cost"
Actually "expensive" hardware can cost not much more than 8 Netgear routers and provide bonding of 8 DSL ports. Check http://www.megabridge.com/prod...

From the WEB site "IPSEC over L2TP is currently under development"
Does it mean that there is problems to terminate multiple L2TP/PPTP sessions on the servers which are busy "demuxing" the links ?

In the end customer uses a non-standard DSL modem. So why not allow the customer to use just a regular router, plug 10/100BT into a larger box (shared among customers) and enjoy up to 32Mbits/s link

trooperbill 12/5/2012 | 2:57:41 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband www.Xrio.com have been providing load balancing for years now... I even believe those involved in this project were talking to Xrio prior to the formation of this company... a bit of espionage methinks lol.
Kreskin 12/5/2012 | 2:57:41 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband
Throwing more money at copper facilities ... isn't it time for everyone to grow up?
digits 12/5/2012 | 2:57:41 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband Fair point -- I didn't make that as clear as I could have.

It's a case of no extra hardware in addition to what's needed anyway for a standard broadband connection.

So if a customer already has a DSL line, then they either replace their DSL CPE with the one supplied by the ISP, with Sharedband software on it, or they get the software added to their existing DSL box.

Basically, the customer does not install any extra hardware in addition to the small units they get anyway to connect the LAN to the broadband line.

When Talk Internet ships routers to its customers, that's for either:
a) the new broadband lines ordered, and/or
b) to replace the existing DSL routers the customer already has.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Ray
digits 12/5/2012 | 2:57:40 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband Weel, in terms of the U.K., you'd have to say, "Isn't it time everyone emigrated?"

For just about every small business in the U.K. copper access is all they can afford.

Ray
tieuthunhi 12/5/2012 | 2:57:39 PM
re: Brit Startup Bonds Broadband If the customer's internet links (DSL, T1, cable, etc.) are coming from different ISPs, then this will double the bandwidth usage at the bonding ISP so they must charge the customer based on bandwidth. That's the extra cost on top of all the Internet fees that the customer is paying. If the bonding ISP does not have a fast Internet connection, the customer will experience extra access lag.

As for the ISP, they also have to get new equipment to provide the bonding service or not?

If all the Internet links are provided by the same ISP, then would it be better to use industry standard Multilink PPP?
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