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Media Center

Will Broadband Aggregation Reach Critical Mass This Time?

  • No Jitter
  • 9/12/2016
  • Keith Cook & Mark Sheard

Enterprise interest in broadband aggregation has waxed and waned a few times over the past 10 to 15 years, but here's why it might now have sticking power.

Use of broadband Internet access in the enterprise is gaining real traction, and market forces may finally bring broadband to light in a meaningful way as a part of the large enterprise WAN.

Some large enterprises are already using broadband as the primary connection for select smaller sites, and are actively considering expanding the types of sites for which the primary connectivity is broadband.

The emergence of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) products through software/hardware providers such as Viptela and VeloCloud (and many others) is also driving the broadband take-up. SD-WAN solutions (for which some estimates say the revenue will reach $6 billion annually within four years) can utilize supplemental broadband service to offload select lower-priority traffic from what is typically an MPLS WAN. SD-WAN also offers the potential of using multiple broadband circuits as a site's primary network transport. In turn, this is likely to see increased requests for broadband aggregation to manage multiple broadband suppliers, which we discuss in more detail below.

Another growth factor originates with the partially informed executive, who, usually after seeing or hearing a commercial advertisement, asks the IT folks, "Why does a 100-Mbps connection cost us hundreds of dollars, but I can get it at my house for $50 per month?"