First 100Mbps sewer broadband connections soon

Bournemouth's first 30 homes will be connected using fibre-optic broadband connections routed through sewers by the end of March.

The campaign to set up residents and businesses in Bournemouth to the 100Mbps superfast network has been underway since last September.

The scheme has achieved a 40 per cent take up rate in its first phase roll out area, which the Bournemouth Echo counted as 5,600 residents and businesses.

H2O Networks said that the Bournemouth "Fibrecity" was on-track to be finished by 2010, which it says is the largest fibre to the home (FFTH) initiative in the UK.

The company also starts work on the first Scottish Fibrecity in Dundee this summer, which will bring the total homes and businesses connected in the UK up to 160,000.

The system that H2O Networks engineers use enables them to lay fibre optic cable in sewer networks. It is claimed that by using the existing ducts, fibre can be laid up to 90 per cent faster and with less disruption than road digging.

"This is an exciting development for Fibrecity," said Elfed Thomas, chief executive of H2O Networks. "Since its launch last year, the initiative has progressed according to plan and is on schedule to be completed by 2010."

By the time the work finishes in March next year, it will have cost an estimated 30 million. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.

The 100Mbps download speeds will be fast as Ethernet speed on a local network.