Bournemouth wins fibre broadband sewer network

Bournemouth is to become the UK's first 'Fibrecity', getting super-fast broadband delivered over fibre routed via its sewers.

H2O Networks will be funding and providing the network, at a cost of around 30 million, and plans to provide ultra-wide bandwidth to all Bournemouth businesses and more than 88,000 homes.

IT PRO has already covered some of H2O Network's previous work on a smaller scale, but this is the first time that it will network an entire city with its FOCUS (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer) system.

If successful, the installed fibre has the potential to provide speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds. H20 claims that it its network can deliver speeds in excess of 100Mbps.

Bournemouth Council has already installed the network in its offices, Bournemouth International Centre and the Pavilion Theatre.

"Bournemouth is incredibly privileged to have been chosen as the UK's first Fibrecity," said Councillor Nick King, Bournemouth council's cabinet member for communications. "This decision is a giant leap forward and gives us a real competitive advantage."

"Bournemouth really needs to embrace the many advantages that being a Fibrecity will bring and I am sure it will bring massive rewards to all homes and businesses that sign up to the services that this network will enable," he added.

H2O Networks said it was planning to deploy Bournemouth's network in the next six months and that this was just the start of its plans to build a higher-speed underground fibre system nationwide, with announcements of further UK towns and cities in the next few months.

Ofcom is also looking at the possibilities of using the underground sewers for high speed broadband, while other countries such as France have already taken advantage of the speeds available.


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