A Common Bond: Bonded Data in Biz Services

Dec. 3, 2014
Cable operators pushing into business services markets may find a potential client interested in making the switch, but tied into a contract for ...
Cable operators pushing into business services markets may find a potential client interested in making the switch, but tied into a contract for another service, like a T-1 line. A concept called broadband bonding could help. This allows several connections to be aggregated to add capacity, reliability, and combine different access technologies.

"A customer may have 18 months left on a contract for T-1 that they don't want to throw away," said Cahit Akin, co-founder and CEO of Mushroom Networks. "The cable operator can utilize broadband bonding and plug the cable line in alongside the T-1. They can then bring in any other kind of bandwidth as the contract expires or keep the T-1. They might want to keep the T-1 line to get the low latency connectivity with the benefit of the humungous bandwidth the cable operators can provide."

Speaking of bandwidth, broadband bonding can be used simply to increase capacity and speed of data service. If one cable modem provides a 30 Mbps download service, combining two into one tunnel increases this to 60 Mbps. "This is a much faster line and increases the reliability factor," Akin said. "If one cable modem fails or there is another issue, there is still the other line. The (management) system intelligently allocates the flow."

The combination of cellular in the form of mobile data and cable may be another direction to take. LTE modems have increased in speed to the point where they are getting comparable to wireline speeds, Akin said. Using broadband bonding, it would be possible to combine the cable modem service with a cellular modem service to add the additional bandwidth and an extra measure of reliability. Even if the cable modem goes down, the system will stay alive as the traffic will be carried over LTE until the cable modem comes back up.

"Imagine a downtime initiated by a (cable) network issue. If the downtime is related to the service provider, than the system is down even if there are two cable modems plugged in. Carrier diversity is becoming important. LTE is becoming important. I'm not claiming it is impossible to have everything down, but it is a lower probability than having one carrier go down," Akin said.