Bournemouth, UK, is often mocked by many of the British for the average age of its citizens. In short, a seaside resort where many go to die. Jack Dee once quipped that the shop windows are all fitted with bi-focals to allow passers-by to ascertain what lies within.
But the citizens, it seems, are having the last laugh as it has been reported this week that the town is to be the first in the UK to make use of the sewer system in a whole new way.
Rather than rely on the rather un-environmentally friendly process of digging up swathes of countryside and road to lay cables, H2O Networks Ltd have been called in for the gig.
As is so often the case, simple ideas seem to have manifest benefits and using sewer systems to lay fibre optic cables is a case in point.
As already stated, there is no need to dig up roads.
Conventional cables are normally laid a mere 45 cm below ground. Utilising the sewer systems means that the cables lie a full 10 metres below ground, decreasing the likelihood of damage and increasing security in potentially dangerous situations.
And of course, with no digging needed, with the sewers already in place, getting the fibre optics laid can be achieved far more quickly.
So, as many Britons languish behind with slow internet access, Bournemouth is casually reinventing itself as a rather fast, happening town, and in the not-too-distant future, will enjoy internet speeds approaching 100Mbps.
The UK has 360,000 miles worth of sewers. As Elfed Thomas, CEO of H2O Networks says:
“This is just the start of bringing next generation connectivity to the UK.”