Home / News / Peripheral News / Bournemouth Fibrecity Sewer Plans go Down the Drain

Bournemouth Fibrecity Sewer Plans go Down the Drain


Bournemouth Fibrecity Sewer Plans go Down the Drain

A plan to lay a high speed fibre optic cable network through the sewers of south-coast town Bournemouth has been scrapped.

Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) supplier i3 Group hoped to use sewers owned by Wessex Water to run the optical fibre cables, as laying fibre this way would have been a lower cost, and less disruptive solution than more conventional methods, such as digging up roads.

However, despite a trial period, the project will no longer take place, though Wessex Water was not giving much away regarding the reasons why.

A statement released by the company read, "There are issues concerning commercial confidentiality between Wessex Water and i3, therefore we are not prepared to comment at this stage."

i3’s response, from chief executive Elfred Thomas was sent to TrustedReviews and stated that, “It is our opinion that Wessex Water has been short sighted in putting commercial demands above the opportunity to provide a low cost fibre optic network that will deliver superfast broadband to their own customers. Citing technical issues as a reason is misleading in respect to the viability of the i3 Group's FS System, a patented method of laying fibre in ready-made ducts including sewer pipes.”

i3 also forwarded on comment from Scottish Water, who has been working with i3 Group on laying cables via sewers for some time. “Scottish Water and i3 Group have been working in partnership for several years,” the statement read. “We are well advanced with the work on sewers and have deployed point-to-point fibre technology in parts of Scotland already. Progress has seen us move away from the proof-of-concept phase and to active commercial deployment of the technology.”

While the Bournemouth sewer route is now blocked, it’s not the end of the line for what has been dubbed the Fibrecity by any means though. Instead the cables will have to be laid via the traditional digging up of the roads – which will means more inconvenience for local residents and a delay on the roll-out to potential customers.

Once completed though, three providers, Fibreband, Velocity 1 and Vispa will be able to offer up to triple-play phone, TV and broadband connections to punters. Packages will start at only £9.99 a month for 25Mbps, and burst speeds of up to 1Gbps will be available on some deals.

Link: Fibrecity.


August 16, 2010, 6:21 pm

This is the sort of entreprenurial thinking that we need to see more off - and another company looking to provide competition to BT (and Virgin) for the infamous "last mile". It's a shame that a deal could be made.

Let companies use whatever infrastructure is already in place - and maybe provide developers with incentives so as to facilitate this sort of joined up thinking. Why do all the utilities need to run their own pipes/ducts etc? why can't they run a shared core down under the footpath on each side of the road (for example) with easy (and shared) access?


August 16, 2010, 6:23 pm

I dont understand this at all. What commercial concerns can a water company have?! They have a complete (albeit regulated) monopoly. It seemed to be a good idea for my little mind, why dig up the roads when there are perfect cable routes already under our cities.


August 16, 2010, 6:58 pm

Just a question - why can't we use telegraph poles?


August 16, 2010, 9:33 pm

Sigh. What an unfortunate development. I was hoping that when this sort of fibre optic distribution was proved to be successful than it would provide a model for future projects in larger cities like London.

@Malderon, my sentiments exactly. They prefer the cost and inconvenience of digging up roads rather than using the established sewer network?


August 16, 2010, 11:34 pm

@piesforyou - they certainly are in other countries.


September 23, 2010, 4:48 pm

Fibrecity and Next Level&#8230 bunch of numbtys. Cut through my phone cable as they were digging the road up. I was unable to use my phone or broadband for 3 days. I got no apology, and only got excuses! My friend laid cables 20 years ago and cut through cables in the road and was apologetic. They get paid per metre and go like crazy to earn £0000&#8217s. It only takes 5 minutes to check for buried cables, but they can&#8217t be bothered to check and would rather make excuses!!! I can&#8217t get a phone number to call them and if I did Im sure they wouldn&#8217t do anything anyway Aahhhhhhh

comments powered by Disqus