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Sewers used for laying cables

Tide of filth

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A firm from North Wales is using the UK's sewers to create fibre optic cable networks. H2O Networks gives organisations the chance to set up their own IT and telecom networks via fibre optic cables laid through the sewer system.

The outfit, which is based in St Asaph, has already used its Focus (Fibre Optical Underground Sewer System) product to install cables for six universities and three councils, claiming that its approach is cheaper than traditional cabling methods.

"A network can be operational within weeks rather than months as cable can be laid up to 80 per cent faster than traditional methods," H2O Network's Carl Cumiskey said.

"There is also no need for the complex negotiations for permission to dig roads and pavements which can add considerable costs to a network provision."

H2O Network has so far negotiated deals to gain access to 80 per cent of the UK's sewer network and hopes to gain access to the rest by the end of the year.

Of course, using sewers as conduits for cable is nothing new. Two years ago, Scottish Water allowed its sewers to be used to roll-out a fibre broadband network to a business park at Rosyth in Fife. Thames Water has also allowed its sewers in London to be used to lay cables. ®

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