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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Upstream Free Broadband

An interesting play on “Free Broadband” has come from Upstream Internet: effectively you become an Upstream Broadband reseller and get £10 for every referral – the offer is limited to 1,000 people and it looks like over 500 have already been signed up.

Upstream Internet is an extremely interesting ISP and someone I have been following since its’ launch. The reason for my interest is that the owner is an expert in a technology called MLPPP which is multi-link PPP protocol and is a method for bonding together two or more Copper Pairs to increase broadband speeds. This solution is perfect for SME’s who do want to go to the expense of leasing a line, but already have a lot of Copper Pairs with spare capacity run to their premises for the PBX. The owner of the ISP has written a Linux distribution of the MLPPP, so the company has some supa-technical skills.

Although, the technology is aimed at SMEs, I can a day coming along quite soon when the well-offs living in rural areas and getting rubbish DSL speeds will be purchasing solutions like MLPPP to get that extra performance.

The technology is not mainstream and is an example how specialized ISPs can survive and differentiate in the mass-market.