What is bonded FTTC?
Bonded Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is a type of bonded broadband very similar to bonded ADSL but uses fibre to the cabinet to bond with instead of something like an ADSL line. You can only use this bonded broadband technology if you live in an area where FTTC is available. If FTTP broadband is available, this is a connectivity option too.
With bonded FTTC, you can get some very impressive internet connection speeds. The peak bonded broadband capability would be 320Mb for download speed and 60Mb for upload speed. However, you should bear in mind that it is still broadband, so all rates are variable. Bonded FTTC is an excellent option when internet connectivity is not mission-critical, but you want to experience high speeds without the expense of a leased line.
How does broadband bonding work?
In a nutshell, it involves combining two or more FTTC lines into a single tunnel of bandwidth to enable faster connections for downloads and uploads. The concept is simple, but the execution is quite complex, with many splitting and recombining data streams.
For example, imaging streaming a video on a PC. With a bonded FTTC setup, the original stream must be split into multiple ones and sent down all the FTTC lines. This process is automated through the bonding of the providers' technology.
On your premises, the separate data streams are then recombined into a high-speed, individual data stream. As another simple example, consider this: if you had a pair of 40Mb FTTC lines and bonded them, the result would be equal to having a single 80Mb broadband line.
What are the benefits of bonded FTTC?
There are several key benefits to this setup:
Speed: with downloads that can peak at 320Mb, the FTTC speed over DSL is incredible. However, it helps to remember that bonding multiple lines leads to slight degradations in the bonded connection service speed, so it's more realistic to think of it as up to 320Mbps.
Cost: with the excellent speeds in mind, the cost of bonded FTTC compared to a leased line makes the proposition look very appealing. Some companies will tell you it is an uncontended service, but if you really want uncontended, then you will need to go with a leased line or EFM.
Resilience: This is another crucial benefit. If one of the bonded lines in your setup fails, the service automatically falls back on the remaining lines, though there will be a broadband speed reduction. Crucially, you will still have an active connection, and the speed will pick up again once the line is back up.
Installation: bonded FTTC can usually be installed in around ten days. Conversely, an EFM service can take around 45 working days, and a leased line can take as long as 65-75 working days. The turnaround for bonded FTTC is relatively fast.
1. Is bonded FTTC a genuine alternative to a leased line?
Yes, it can achieve similar performance at a fraction of the cost. Bonded internet access is perfect for anyone who lacks the budget for a leased line but needs faster speeds.
2. Is bonded FTTC suitable for VoIP and Video?
Yes, it is optimised for low latency connections like these. The latency required for voice is around 150ms, and the average carrier network is less than 30ms.
3. Will my existing firewall work with it?
Yes, but it will be necessary to make some small changes to its configuration.
4. What hardware will I need to invest in?
Bonded FTTC providers typically include hardware in the cost, so there are no extra charges for hardware.
5. How do bonding devices work?
The bonding device takes its place in front of your firewall, presented as a single RJ45. It breaks files down at packet level, and carrier-grade bonding devices recombine them at a data centre. If there is a central bonder failing, it will fail over automatically.
6. Will it interfere with my VPN?
No, bonded FTTC solutions can be designed to support VPNs. The connectivity will appear as a single, transparent connection and, if there is a single line failure, it will not disconnect the VPN.
Bonded FTTC can be a great way of accessing higher internet connection FTTC speed without the expense of a leased line. It offers a range of benefits in addition to bandwidth speed, such as its inherent resilience and low associated costs, so it is worth considering for any business whose needs would be met by it.
With the growing popularity of bonded networks, there is no shortage of companies available to implement bonded FTTC for you. Given the many benefits for SMEs, it's clear to see why. When choosing your provider, look for those who work with leading providers and offer free quotes before committing to anything. You could reap the benefits of being on the UK's best networks without paying the high costs associated with going direct.