Bournemouth’s high speed internet sewers.

Bournemouth’s high speed internet sewers.

May 8, 2016

Over the next few months, H20 intends to announce the names of several towns it will link up with high speed internet capabilities of up to 100Mbps.

The first recipient of these super fast cable links will be Bournemouth, with work set to begin before the end of the year.

H20 does not intend to dig up the streets to lay its cables; instead, it will run them inside the sewer system, reaching nearly ninety thousand homes in the Dorset town.

The company believes that the project, costing £30 million, will drastically increase users’ connection speeds, by perhaps as much as several hundred Mbit/s.

One of the big attractions to local councils is the lack of disruption that would normally be associated with such a major project.

Running the cables through the cities’ sewers means that large scale disruption to traffic and noise pollution can be totally avoided.

For H20 it also translates into massive saving, because the cables can be laid for a fraction of the cost and much faster than by traditional methods.

Although not a totally new venture, the new plans intend to expand on the company’s already installed, sewer enabled network, which reaches large numbers of educational establishments and businesses, so that they may now include household consumers.

Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, seems to be in favour of this method of connecting houses and businesses, and is investigating the sewers for more widespread cable laying use.

In the UK, there are in excess of a third of a million miles of sewage tunnels that offer the opportunity of environmentally friendly and faster distribution of high speed cabling.

That could help the UK to catch up with other nations that are winning the internet speed race.

Tim Yeo

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