January 23, 2008
Dark fibre provider H2O Networks is gearing up to launch Britain’s first ‘fibre town’, boasting a 100Mbps broadband network, in 2009/2010.
The company, which lays fibre networks using the existing sewerage system, is planning to offer its first consumer and business service to residents of either Bournemouth, Northampton or Dundee.
One of these three towns will be announced as the first to get a full 100Mbps fibre network later this year. The company has already delivered fibre networks to local councils in each of the thee areas, forming a foundation for its future networks.
H2O claims that it can lay a high speed access network in a fraction of the time and for a tiny proportion of the cost of building out traditional infrastructure because it does not have to apply for planning permission and dig up roads.
Instead, the company takes its cabling through the existing ducting provided by the sewer system and intends to go head to head with the likes of BT and Virgin Media, which have come under fire for a lackadaisical attitude towards beefing up Britain’s broadband speeds.
Whereas incumbent BT has only just started its first deployment of fibre optic cable, in the Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent, other European nations such as France and Germany are already enjoying fibre speeds of 50Mbps and 100Mbps.
Meanwhile, H20 is also understood to be advanced talks with media partners and internet service providers who are interested in selling the fibre service to consumers. The first of these partners is expected to be announced as early as next month.
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