Dundee’s Sewers To Carry Fibre Network


Fibrecity could offer all Dundee residents fibre broadband, using the sewer system

Despite a recent setback in Bournemouth, service provider Fibrecity plans to use its technology, that threads fibre through sewers, to provide faster broadband in Dundee.

Fibrecity apparently plans to use Scottish Water’s sewage infrastructure to lay its fibre optic cables, so it can offer a Fibre to the Home (FTTH) broadband connection that will be capable of speeds of 25Mbps to 100Mbps.

It also plans to utilise ‘micro-trenching’ (i.e. digging up the pavement) to reach locations where water pipes aren’t viable. Dundee residents can apply to be connected up to the fibre network for free by visiting www.getreadydundee.com.

Speedy Connections

Fibrecity reportedly hopes from early 2012 to connect approximately 4,000 people in the city each month, and residents will have the choice of two ISPs, namely Velocity1 and Fibreband.

According to ISPreview, three FTTH plans will be available, namely Optic25, Optic50 and Optic100, priced at £25.99, £29.99 and £45.99 per month. Optic25 offers a guaranteed download speed of 25Mbps, Optic50 offers up to 50Mbps download speed (but only guarantees 25Mbps) and Optic100 offers up to 100Mbps download (but only 40Mbps download is guaranteed).

Upload speeds vary from 5 to 10Mbps.

“This brings Dundee a step closer to becoming the first city in Scotland to have every one of its homes and business premises able to access next generation broadband,” said Will Dawson, Convener of Dundee City Council’s City Development Committee.

“Dundee City Council has been working with the i3 Group (the owner of Fibrecity) to plan this roll out and every council tenant will receive a letter from Fibrecity Holdings when their home is about to be connected.”

Bournemouth Problem

Fibrecity will be hoping that it does not run into the same difficulties it encountered in Bournemouth, where “contractual problems” between Fibrecity and Wessex Water meant that a planned fibre network was not installed via the sewer system.

Instead, Fibrecity is apparently resorting to microtrenching – digging up the pavements – to install the network.

Wessex Water’s attitude contrasts with that of BT, who promised in February that it would open up its network of ducts and poles to competitors, so that rival ISPs can lay their own fibre under the street or along telegraph poles to millions of homes in the United Kingdom.

And Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously warned utility companies that he would resort to legislation to force them to open up their ducting and other assets so that superfast broadband could be delivered.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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