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Sewers could be UK's saviour for faster Internet

A small start up company (opens in new tab), which pioneered the idea of using the sewers to carry fibres straight to users' homes, has announced that its network will go live in autumn 2008.

H20 uses a technique (opens in new tab) called FS FOCUS system (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer System) to deliver the goods which not only improves the speed of cable laying but also requires less resources, is more environment friendly and costs a fraction of what traditional methods require.

UK's first fibre town (opens in new tab) - which will be chosen between Bournemouth, Northampton or Dundee - will experience speeds of more than 100Mbps, roughly 30 times more than UK's average broadband speeds and on par with what countries like Korea, Japan or France enjoy.

Interestingly, H2O charges a flat fee - £699 per month with added capacity (i.e. faster speeds) for free over ten years. That could mean speeds of up to 20Gbps in the future.

H20 could prove to be a tasty target for larger companies like Sky, BT or Virgin as it has the experience in handling and implementing a disruptive technology that can change the way the internet is consumed in UK.

Earlier this year, BT has announced that it would be laying fibre optic cables to 10000 homes at Ebbsfleet Valley and has announced that the wholesale price of the connection - 100Mbps - would be around £50.

Virgin has also started rolling out 50mbps service in some areas in Kent for £47 per month. It hopes to upgrade its entire cable network by 2009.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.