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January 25, 2008

Sewer propelled internet connection.

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by Alan Harten
Sewer propelled internet connection.

The United Kingdom, looks like it will have its first city with total fibre internet connectivity, courtesy of cables laid throughout the sewer system, within the next couple of years.

On Wednesday, the networking company H2O said its running of fibre optic cables through city sewers means that it can carry up to 100Mbps connections within a smaller city in less than two years.

The company is currently in negotiation with several local councils in an effort to decide which city will become the first, to have this total coverage. The winning city will be announced in April. The company said H2O had been trying out the system via low-key deployments in Dundee’s Hillhead student halls of residence and, at Bournemouth City Council.

H2O boss, Elfred Thomas stated “We don’t need permission from the city council, but this does benefit them,” and, “If they have fibre it should help bring investment, and we’d expect the council to be a customer too.”

Over the next 5 years, he also expects to lay fibre in as many as twelve cities across the country. Mr Thomas went on to say: “Big cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester have a lot of fibre already so we will concentrate on places where there is not so much. To pull fibre through 1,500m of sewers takes us about four hours, compared to laying normal cable which would take anything up to six months.”

This sewer based Internet system not actually a new idea: It has been used successfully in France. And the company CableRunner, have also been successful with sewer internet systems in North America.

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