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Bournemouth uses sewer pipes for internet

Council is routing new internet cables through the town's sewer system to save money and prevent disruption
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor on

Underground sewer pipes are being used by Bournemouth Borough Council to cut the cost and disruption of laying new broadband internet cabling.

Around 1,400 metres of the 18mm fibre optic cable has been laid through the town's sewer network, owned by Wessex Water, using ready-made ducts to push the cable through and save the cost and time usually taken digging up roads.

Bournemouth is using the fibre optic cable underground sewer (Focus) system developed by UK company H20 Networks.

Bob Rhodes, IT manager at Bournemouth Borough Council, said laying the cable, which will mainly be used as back-up to the authority's existing BT network, has resulted in a "tremendous cost saving".

He said: "This is ideal for resilience. Going deep in the sewers it is less likely to be hit by a JCB digger. It gives us complete alternative routing."

He said the armoured cabling is also strong enough to prevent communications being taken out by sewer rats chewing through it.

Elfed Thomas, managing director for H2O Networks, claimed it is 80 percent faster to lay cables in the sewers and said it offers organisations a fixed-term cost rather than bandwidth tariffs, which means no further charges are incurred when extra capacity is needed.

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