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Increase WAN Bandwith With a Bonded T1 Solution
Adding additional lines to your T1 connection will double bandwidth or more if you bond them.

By: John Shepler

T1 bandwidth at 1.5 Mbps has been a staple for smaller business applications. For many businesses, a solid 1.5 Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload is more than adequate. Some businesses can even use an Integrated T1 solution to deliver both telephone and Internet service on the same line. But other businesses are finding that T1 bandwidth is becoming a bottleneck to productivity. They need and want more bandwidth.

So, what is the easiest and most cost effective solution?
A straightforward approach is to add another T1 line. This doubles your bandwidth from 1.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps. But don’t just run out and order a second T1 line just anywhere. If you want to two T1 lines to work as if they were one larger line, then you’ll need to get them from the same supplier and request a bonded T1 solution. Bonding is a technical process that combines the bandwidth of the otherwise independent T1 lines.

Why would you not want your lines bonded?
One reason is redundancy. If the two lines are bonded and from the same source, chances are that a fault that takes out one line might well take out the other as well. You’ll be left with no bandwidth at all until repairs are completed. Fortunately, this is usually a matter of hours at most for top tier T1 line service providers. Even so, by keeping the lines separate and from totally different carriers coming in on different wire bundles from different directions, you stand a good chance of an outage being limited to one line or the other.

Network Redundancy Approaches
Redundant lines are easiest to implement when they feed different networks. Say, half your users are on one line and half on the other. Or, you can use a device called a TRUFFLE from Mushroom Networks to combine two or more broadband lines to create one larger bandwidth. If you lose one input to the TRUFFLE, the others keep feeding the network.

Bonding More Than Two T1 Lines
Another situation where a bonded T1 solution makes sense is delivering larger amounts of bandwidth to locations where fiber optic service isn’t available or is way too expensive to bring in. You can bond 3 T1 lines to get 4.5 Mbps, 4 T1 lines to get 6 Mbps, 5 T1 lines for 7.5 Mbps, 6 lines get you 9 Mbps, and bonding 7 T1 lines will deliver 10.5 Mbps. That’s equivalent to basic Ethernet network speeds and is more than enough for applications like video conferencing and broadband Internet access for medium size companies.

Works for Rural Areas
Bonding this many lines often makes a lot of sense for companies located in rural areas or just far enough from Metro Ethernet service that fiber isn’t practical. That includes WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) and rural medical centers, as well as office buildings of all types. T1 line service is available just about anywhere you can get telephone service and is provisioned on the same type of twisted pair cable that brings in analog or digital phone lines.

A Backup For Your Fiber Optic Network
Finally, a bonded T1 solution can provide short term connectivity while fiber optic service is under construction. In most cases, the copper wiring to support bonded T1 bandwidth is already in place. A service provider only needs to install customer premises termination equipment and provision the service. Once fiber has been brought in and turned up, you can discontinue the bonded T1 connection or keep it as a backup service that will be unaffected by faults in the fiber optic network.

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