Bournemouth uses waste pipes for new comms infrastructure

Bournemouth has taken a novel approach to implementing a new communications infrastructure by making use of pipes usually used for expelling sewerage to deliver broadband connectivity.

By using the existing infrastructure, the council has been able to speed up installation by about 80 per cent as well as spending tax payers' money on enhancing local services rather than digging up roads to support the new network.

The normal infrastructural upheavals caused by network requirements are both disruptive and environmentally damaging, yet they occur more than four million times each year at an estimated cost of 1 billion.

To eliminate this damage and expense, Bournemouth Borough Council decided to implement H2O Networks' fibre optical cable underground sewer (FOCUS) system to make use of Wessex Water Enterprises' sewerage assets.

"In partnership with H2O Networks we are making a tremendous cost saving, meaning that we can put Council Tax payers' money to better use," said Bob Rhodes, the council's IT manager.

"Using the sewer network is also a more environmentally friendly way to lay the fibre optic cable, and it makes sense to utilise the existing sewer network that's right under our noses. Our network was operational in just over a week with no need for us to undergo the complex negotiations that come with getting the permission to dig up roads and pavements."

Elfed Thomas, managing director at H2O Networks added: "Our FOCUS system gives organisations a cost-effective alternative to the traditional method of deploying fibre cable.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.