Raising the Awareness of ADSL Bonding Through an Extended Trial With Evolving Networks

Mark HeathBroadband users struggling with low speeds from an individual ADSL or ADSL2+ connection often wrongly assume that the solution to their problem will only come with the deployment of fibre broadband. While the pace of fibre broadband roll-out has picked up with BDUK-related projects across the country, many businesses will have a long, and frustrating, wait if they assume that nothing can be done until the arrival of fibre broadband.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, a number of techniques can be applied to get the very best speeds from a single ADSL or ADSL2+ connection, as detailed in our Increase Broadband Speed Guide. Secondly, there is a viable alternative to an expensive leased line for organisations reaching the limits of a single ADSL or ADSL2+ connection, and that is ADSL bonding!

Regular visitors to this site will know that we are fans of the concept of ADSL bonding. With bonded ADSL, multiple ADSL or ADSL2+ connections are aggregated to provide increased uplink and downlink throughputs as well as giving much-valued resilience (where Internet connectivity is maintained even if an individual connection goes down). Our previous review of a basic bonding service (from Sharedband) found that ADSL bonding can work very effectively and can be surprisingly affordable.

Despite the fact that ADSL bonding solutions have been available for a number of years, it is astonishing that there is so little awareness about ADSL bonding among businesses and broadband users. This is even more surprising given that alternative solutions for increasing throughputs (such as leased lines) can be much more expensive. Online searches reveal very little publicly-available information on ADSL bonding, particularly with regard to real-life performance.

Several few weeks ago, I received an email from Nic Elliott, Technical Director of Evolving Networks Limited. Nic invited me to meet the Evolving Networks team and to find out more about bonded broadband solutions offered by the company.

When I met the team at the offices of Evolving Networks in Peterborough, I was struck by how enthusiastic all members of the team were about the variety of bonded broadband solutions offered to businesses of all types.

Following an extremely informative meeting, it was agreed that we would independently trial, on a extended basis, a range of solutions offered by Evolving Networks, and publish the results of these trials to help address the widespread lack of information about bonding and what it can achieve in practice.

Bonded Internet Gateway from Evolving Networks

Nic was keen to point out that bonding doesn’t become obsolete with the arrival of fibre broadband since bonding technologies can also be successfully applied to fibre broadband connections.

Indeed, when customers subscribe to a bonded ADSL or ADSL2+ service offered by Evolving Networks, they will receive a free upgrade to FTTC when it becomes available.

Also, while many FTTC providers are keen to emphasize headline download connection speeds of 80 Mbps, we have shown that premises at a significant distance from the fibre street cabinet may fail to achieve speeds greater than 20 Mbps, particularly if crosstalk interference is present. So, those thinking that a single FTTC connection would end any concerns over throughputs may be misguided.

Bonded FTTC services offer significant advantages over single FTTC connections in terms of download and upload throughputs and resilience. Nic Elliott pointed out that his testing of bonded FTTC shows that it can deliver significantly higher uplink throughputs than FTTP! Rest assured that we will be trialling bonded FTTC , once we have tested bonded ADSL services.

You can now read our reviews by clicking on the following links:

Review of Bonded ADSL From Evolving Networks (Part 1)

Bonding Three and Four ADSL Lines (Part 2)