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Is it possible to get a large trunk in somehow and divide the bandwidth up between a few houses and share the cost?

Will it be a better value?
 

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Essentially you would have to become a Internet Service Provider (ISP) which would hardly be economical.
 

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What do you mean by "large trunk"? Do you mean something larger than the residential broadband service from Rogers or Bell (or whatever your local cable & telco are)? If so, the only kind of larger trunk you'd be able to get would be a business-class service and they cost orders of magnitude more than residential services.
 

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Its possible to do, but it won't be cheep. It also depends on where you live. If you live in the middle of no where then you will probably be limited in what you can get even for a backbone. The costs per person would be pretty high for a limited amount of users.

Generally your next step after cable and dsl is SHDSL, T1's and then fibre and this does not come cheep.
 

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^^^^
Another possibility is short haul microwave. Some ISPs support this. I've heard of some models that will do up to about 4 Gb/s, but the most I've worked with is 50 Mb/s. Depending on the equipment, it's possible to double that by sharing one antenna between two systems by using both horizontal & vertical polarization. Again, depending on equipment (licensed or unlicenced), it's possible to go several kilometers. There a company, in Kanata, called "DragonWave". They have several models that may be suitable.
 

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I don't believe there is anything unlicensed over 5.8Ghz in Canada. I know the US opened up the 24Ghz spectrum, but industry Canada just did a spectrum auction for the 24 and 38Ghz spectrums. Correct me if I am wrong...

Even on some 5.8Ghz stuff you can get up to 300Mbps some companies are claiming now a days with 150Mbps real throughput.
 

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WiFi is an option if your neighbors live within a close enough radius. One of you can purchase the WiFi service through your provider, and you can all share the connection and split the fee.
 

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^^^^
Better not let the ISP catch you do that. Sharing a home service is a violation of your contract with them.
 

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Not unless you get a T1 or other business class service, with contract language permitting such.

Of course, you will need to get your ISP to sell you that class of service, which might be hard, especially to basically compete with them.
 
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