H2O Networks the provider of fibre connectivity via the UK’s 360,000 miles of sewers, has announced that the UK’s first Fibrecity will be Bournemouth. Work will begin on the deployment of the fibre within the next six months, bringing next generation broadband and connectivity to all homes and businesses in the town.
This will be the largest Fibrecity project in Europe and the company will be funding and providing the network at a cost of around £30 million. The majority of the fibre will be put in the sewers using H2O Networks’ patented FS (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer) System. The fibre will provide ultra high bandwidth to all Bournemouth’s businesses and more than 88,000 homes at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds, typically by tens or even hundreds of Mbps.
Bournemouth Borough Council was keen to see the town become the first Fibrecity as, not only is it renowned as a tourist destination, it is also a regional centre of education and business. Some of the benefits Fibrecity will bring include: Video conferencing will help social workers to protect and keep the vulnerable safe, Real time monitoring of traffic using CCTV will enable urban traffic control, Faster broadband speeds will improve the use of ICT in schools which is an essential part of education.
Businesses will be able to transfer files and documents between offices with no time delays, Greater bandwidth will enable people to work from home more easily, allowing flexible working.
Households can benefit from faster broadband, up to 100 Mbps, and so can have access to much higher quality services such as telephone calls over the Internet, video streaming and IPTV.
Councillor Nick King, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Communications, said: “Bournemouth is incredibly privileged to have been chosen as the UK’s first Fibrecity. This decision is a giant leap forward and gives us a real competitive advantage. Bournemouth really needs to embrace the many advantages that being a Fibrecity will bring and I am sure it will bring massive rewards to all homes and businesses that sign up to the services that this network will enable.
The Council has already installed H2O Networks’ high speed fibre to its offices and the Bournemouth International Centre and Pavilion Theatre, so we are aware of the difference this type of connectivity can make.”
Elfed Thomas, CEO of H2O Networks said: “This is just the start of bringing next generation connectivity to the UK. We will be announcing more towns and cities which will benefit from Fibrecity over the coming months, and plan to have a nationwide network deployed over the next few years.
“Many households and broadband customers in the UK have insufficient connectivity bandwidths because they are attached to legacy networks deployed in the 20th Century that just can’t cope with demand. Our solution brings us right into the 21st Century and beyond, with speeds in excess of 100Mbps.”
Fibrecity deployments are far kinder to the environment than traditional methods of fibre deployment, as the sewer is a ready-made duct which means the expensive and environmentally unfriendly method of digging up the roads is unnecessary and disruption to the road infrastructure is kept to a minimum. In addition, the system is at least 80 per cent faster than traditional methods.
Where the sewers are not viable, H2O Networks will install the cable using its patented BMD (Blown Mini Duct) system. With this method, a small, 20 millimetres wide slot is channelled into the road in order to lay the cable. This is not a civil dig and will cause minimal disruption to the local area.