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H2O Networks aims to bring UK broadband up to speed

by Parm Mann on 23 January 2008, 11:06

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100Mbps broadband to be delivered via our sewers?

It's well documented that the UK is lagging behind most of the world in terms of broadband speed.

Though BT and Virgin Media are rolling out high speed networks of their own, they are so far limited in availability and costly in install.

Virgin Media, who's cable network is laid down by digging up roads, is an extremely expensive and lengthy procedure.

Aware of such problems, Elfed Thomas, managing director of H2O Networks, came up with an idea some years ago for a simple yet certain solution; use our sewer system instead.

"We had this big infrastructure problem in the UK and we had this existing ducting and I just thought why can't we use the sewers," he told the BBC.

"There is no reason why this can't be deployed throughout the UK. To roll out a networking deploying fibre over a 2km area would be six to 12 months in the planning. We can do it physically in four hours," he added.

Now, a few years on from Mr Thomas' initial idea, H2O networks are rolling out its Focus (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer) network in various areas and either Bournemouth, Northampton or Dundee will be first offered the service.

Could the UK’s 360,000 mile waste water network be the means to cheaper and faster connections for us all?

Universities in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Bournemouth are already utilising H2O networks' fibre connections with speeds of up to 20Gbps whilst council offices around the UK are also lining up to take advantage of the super fast broadband.

Having spent the past few years convincing water companies to agree to allow their sewer systems to be used for the fibre networks, it now seems a realistic prospect for better broadband throughout the country.

Official H2O Networks website: h2o-networks.uk.net



HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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Pffft. Dundee of all places!

Glasgow please..
I could make many a joke about Dundee and **** holes… :D

There was a thread about this before wasn't there? Not about the secifics f the rollout, but of the technology.

Good to see Aberdeen University are existing clients of theirs, hopefully that will mean Aberdeen is on the list for this too at some point.

Actualy, I don't think Glasgow is as good a market for them as Dundee and Aberdeen. In glasgow they would be competing against Virgin, BT ADSL and unbundled ADSL. further north the only option is BT or an unbundled supplier, of which it only seems to be the cheap lower end bunch up here. Be for example are notable by their absense in Aberdeen.
Cracking news, should give VM and BT a kick in the backside no end. Shame it's only up north for now though, never seem to do anything daaaarn saaaaf.

On a similar note, found this earlier which made me chuckle:

Welcome to Google TiSP
scruffy
never seem to do anything daaaarn saaaaf.
Really? you are kidding right?

I think you'l find that because of the population density, ‘the south’ gets the best choice as far as unbunded exchanges go and i believe they were the first to get the uprated VM speeds. there are also companies in London that will do you SDSL contracts for reasonable amounts of money.
Funkstar
Really? you are kidding right?

I think you'l find that because of the population density, ‘the south’ gets the best choice as far as unbunded exchanges go and i believe they were the first to get the uprated VM speeds. there are also companies in London that will do you SDSL contracts for reasonable amounts of money.

As it happens I'm limited to VM where I am, as BT/LLU providers can't offer me more than 1.5mb at my exchange. I'm sure that'll change in time as technology improves, hopefully with a trial to my house :)

Never mind SDSL, H20's offer of unlimited bandwidth seems rather appealing… granted it's £600+ a month hehe.