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Bonds Worth the Investment

Broadband bonding patches together a bigger pipe with a price tag sized for small business.

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This story appears in the March 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Small businesses find it tough to get what they need from big telecom service providers, which more often create offerings with big businesses in mind--"one-size-fits-all" solutions that may or may not fit.

In many cases, that one size is a T-1 line. At 1.5 megabits per second, that's faster than some business connection alternatives--but it also can cost as much as $1,000 per month. For the most part, service providers are not in a rush to develop a more flexible solution for small businesses that ultimately would subtract from their bottom lines. Fortunately, there's a work-around: an approach called broadband bonding. Simply put, it allows two or more broadband lines to be bonded into a single, more capacious pipe. Broadband bonding variations are offered by several companies, one of which is Mushroom Networks, founded in 2004 as a spinoff from the University of California, San Diego.

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